MAJOR engineering work start in Lowton next week to upgrade ageing underground gas pipes.

The project means there will be no access to or from Stone Cross Lane South for six weeks.

Starting from Monday, July 26, teams from Cadent, which manages the North West’s 21,000-mile gas distribution network, will be operating in Stone Cross Lane South, Lowton to upgrade the pipes that help safely deliver gas to thousands of nearby homes.

Access to properties along Stone Cross Lane South will be via the Newton Road end only, with occupants informed of this by Cadent and Wigan Council.

The work, taking place near the junction with the A580 East Lancashire Road, has been deliberately scheduled within a six-week window to minimise disruption as schools have finished for summer.

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It’s part of an £800m, five-year North West investment programme to ensure safety and reliability of gas distribution in the local area.

Modernising the network like this also gets it ready for the shift from fossil fuels to hydrogen; essential to local and national targets to achieve net zero carbon emissions in the coming decades as hydrogen emits zero carbon at point of use.

Phil Hendrick, customer operations area manager, Cadent, said: “This is essential work in a challenging location, just off the busy East Lancashire Road.

“We do not foresee any impact to the ‘East Lancs’ but we want to give warning that you will not be able to turn off here to Stone Cross Lane South.

“Please follow the diversion route via the next roundabout and through to Newton Road.”

There should be no interruption to gas supply.

If you smell gas during this work, nearby or anywhere, always ring the national gas emergency service immediately, day or night, on 0800 111 999. Do not delay, or assume it’s related to this work. It may not be and must be checked.