Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the gas distributor for the North of England, is carrying out critical work to ensure the continued safe and reliable supply of gas to customers in the Micklegate area of York.
The ageing metal pipework will be replaced by new, more durable plastic pipes.
NGN is prioritising critical work in line with UK Government guidance during the national lockdown, while observing strict guidelines for safe distance working.
As well as critical services, which include responding to gas emergencies, carrying out emergency repairs and essential maintenance activities, NGN is continuing to carry out work to upgrade critical infrastructure. This includes planned work to upgrade ageing metal gas mains and Government guidance for safe distance working during the pandemic will be followed at all times.
The work is expected to last for seven weeks. It has been planned in collaboration with City of York Council, to take place during the national lockdown when there is traffic.
So that engineers can carry out the work safely and efficiently, and to protect the public, some traffic management measures will be put in place.
From Monday 18 January there will be four-way temporary traffic lights at the junction of Blossom Street, Micklegate, Queen Street and Nunnery Lane for the remainder of the project. The bus lanes and bus stops near the junction will not be affected.
From Monday 25 January, there will also be a road closure at Micklegate Bar for access into York city centre. A diversion will be in place for five weeks so that motorists can avoid this closure. The diversion will take motorists along Queen Street and past the train station, allowing access at the other end of Micklegate. The cycle lane will remain open for cyclists coming out of York.
Shops and businesses in the area will remain open as usual while the work is underway, although in accordance with national lockdown guidelines.
To ensure the safety of colleagues, customers and the community, the majority of the work is being carried out in the street, with extra safety precautions in place when engineers are working inside customer properties.
NGN engineers wash their hands or use hand sanitiser thoroughly before entering a property; they maintain a two-metre distance and ask the householders to stay in another room while they work, and they wear a face mask and gloves. Engineers may also ask customers if they would feel comfortable wearing a face mask themselves during a home visit.
Where customers are self-isolating, have symptoms or are at high clinical risk, NGN engineers will wear full PPE including coveralls, eye protection and shoe covers.
Russell Kaye, Business Operations Lead for Northern Gas Networks, said: “We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused during these critical works. However, it is vital we complete them in order to continue to maintain a safe and reliable gas supply to the residents and businesses of Micklegate.
“NGN is continuing to carry out essential services while following strict Government guidelines for safe distance working and observing health and safety guidance during the current lockdown in England.
“We want to assure residents and road users that we will be working hard to complete this scheme as safely and as quickly as possible.”
A similar project being carried out by NGN on Tadcaster Road in York is continuing. This project is due to finish in March and at present all work is being carried out in the bus lane. However, motorists travelling into York city centre along the A1036 are still advised to leave extra time for their journeys.
Anyone that smells gas or suspects carbon monoxide should call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24-hours a day, seven days a week.