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Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the gas distributor for the North of England, will be carrying out essential work to ensure the continued safe and reliable supply of gas to customers in the Shibdon Road and Shibdon Bank area of Blaydon-on-Tyne.

The ageing main has undergone several recent emergency repairs, so has now been prioritised for urgent replacement. The ageing metal pipework is now being replaced with new, more durable plastic pipes, to ensure a safe and reliable supply of gas to customers.

The work will start on Monday 12th July and is expected to last for approximately 13 weeks. It has been planned in collaboration with Gateshead Council.

NGN’s customer liaison officer will also be visiting residents and businesses ahead of the project’s start date, to discuss the works and answer any questions.

To ensure the safety of colleagues, customers and the community, the majority of the work is being carried out in the street, following Government guidelines for safe distance working wherever possible. There are also extra safety measures in place to keep everyone safe and ensure that the work is Covid 19 secure.

So that engineers can carry out the work safely and efficiently, and to protect the public, there will be several traffic management measures in place, in the form of two and three way temporary traffic lights which will follow the works on Shibdon Road and Shibdon Bank.

It’s expected the traffic management will result in extended journey times for motorists for the duration of the project, especially at peak travel times. Signs will be displayed for motorists before and during the works.

In order to minimise any inconvenience to customers as a result of the work, Gateshead Council have agreed that NGN can operate 12 hour working shifts and work during weekends to get this job completed as soon as possible.

The majority of the work will take place in the highway. Engineers will only request entry to a customer’s property if it is absolutely necessary; in order to ensure their safety, to keep the gas supply flowing, or at a customer’s request.

There are extra safety precautions in place for working inside: NGN engineers will wash their hands or use hand sanitiser thoroughly before entering a property; they will maintain a two metre distance and ask the householders to stay in another room while they work, and they will wear a face mask and gloves.

Where customers are self-isolating, have symptoms or are at high clinical risk, our engineers will wear full PPE including coveralls and eye protection.

Shaun Williams, Site Manager for Northern Gas Networks, said: “We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused during these essential works.

“However, it is vital we complete them in order to continue to maintain a safe and reliable gas supply to the residents of Blaydon.

“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, including working 12 hour shifts and during weekends.”

As well as NGN’s critical service (which include responding to gas emergencies, carrying out emergency repairs and critical maintenance activities) engineers are continuing to carry out work to upgrade critical infrastructure, including planned work to replace ageing metal gas pipes, where most of the work can be carried out safely in the street.

Customers can read more about our Covid Secure Promise here.

For further information about the work please contact NGN’s Customer Care Team on 0800 040 7766 or email: customercare@northerngas.co.uk.

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.