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Northern Gas Networks shares seven steps for staying safe and alert to the dangers of Carbon Monoxide


Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2021 begins today (Monday 22 November) and gas distributor Northern Gas Networks (NGN) is urging households to stay vigilant of the dangers of the ‘Silent Killer’ through a set of seven simple safety steps.

With this year likely to be financially difficult for thousands of households across the North East, Yorkshire and Cumbria due to increased energy prices, the rising cost of living and the Covid-19 pandemic, many customers may put off their annual gas appliance service or take risks to stay warm in the hope of keeping bills down.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of fossil fuels, including through faulty gas appliances.

Signs of CO in the home often include dark stains on gas appliances, lazy yellow flames and condensation on windows near appliances.

Carbon monoxide can’t be seen, smelled, tasted or heard and is currently responsible for around 200 hospitalisations and 50 preventable UK death each year. Symptoms of CO poisoning include dizziness, nausea, headache and breathlessness.

Lack of safety awareness is often the root cause of these statistics with unsafe practices in the home all increasing the risk of exposure to carbon monoxide.

As the region’s emergency response to a smell of gas or suspected carbon monoxide, NGN’s seven steps to CO safety are:

  • Don’t use gas hobs and ovens to heat rooms
  • Keep ventilation outlets clear and unblocked
  • Don’t heat a single room for living and sleeping
  • Limit cooking pans to one pan per cooker ring, rather than lighting all four burners under one large pan
  • Call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999 if you smell gas or suspect carbon monoxide in your home
  • Buy an audible carbon monoxide alarm for your home, at a cost of around £15
  • Get your gas appliances serviced annually by a qualified Gas Safe Register engineer


In addition, customers struggling with increased bills can contact their energy supplier to see if they qualify for affordable debt repayment plans or payment breaks.

If eligible, bill payers can also apply for the Warm Homes Discount Scheme, which could involve a £140 discount on their electricity bill, via their supplier.

This one-off discount is taken off the customer’s electricity bill between October and March. Contact your supplier to find out more.

And anyone living with a disability, chronic or mental health illness, or who is of pensionable age, or with children aged under 5 at home can sign up to the Priority Services Register. This free support scheme entitles them to extra help in the event of interruption to their gas or power supply.

To find out if you’re eligible, visit NGN’s Priority Services Register web page here and fill in the form.

Steve Dacre, Innovation Vulnerability Lead at Northern Gas Networks, said: “This winter is going to be financially challenging for many individuals and families across our communities and certain costs such as annual servicing may get pushed down the list of priorities.

“It’s also tempting to cut corners in ways that are unsafe, such as living and sleeping in one heated room, or heating rooms with gas cookers or ovens.

“But preventative action is absolutely critical to avoiding exposure to carbon monoxide.

“The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, nausea, breathlessness and headache, and could be mistaken for other conditions common in winter, such as flu and of course Covid-19.

“Before the winter weather really kicks in, there are several simple steps customers can take now to protect themselves and their families.

“Firstly, if you think there could be carbon monoxide in your home, call 0800 111 999 straight away. This is the free number for the National Gas Emergency Service, and an NGN gas engineer will be sent out to you. In the meantime, turn off all your gas appliances, open the windows and leave you home while you wait for the engineer to arrive.

“Secondly, book a gas safety check with a registered gas engineer. You can find one fully approved and local to you on the Gas Safety Register website, at

“And thirdly, buy an audible carbon monoxide alarm. They are only around £15, and could save your life one day. When it’s fitted, remember to test it regularly to check that it’s working and doesn’t need a new battery.

“There is also a wealth of support out there for customers struggling with higher bills this winter. Please contact your energy supplier to talk about how they can support you with balancing your payments.”

NGN, which supplies gas to 2.7 million properties across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Cumbria, has equipped all its frontline gas engineers with hand-held devices to detect the presence of carbon monoxide as quickly as possible.

 It has also provided carbon monoxide awareness training to its partner organisations, such as Community Action Northumberland, Yorkshire Energy Doctor, Green Doctors, Lake District Foundation, Highfield CO-OP, Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University, Durham County Council, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service.

More information about carbon monoxide safety can be found on the NGN website

To find a registered Gas Safe engineer and book an appliance service, visit the Gas Safe Register website

Take our Carbon Monoxide Quiz! Click here to test your knowledge.

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We’re supporting Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2021


Northern Gas Networks is proud to support Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2021.

You might know carbon monoxide only as the ‘silent killer’; but this gas is also associated with a range of health complications, including low birth weight in babies, brain damage and heart disease. Many of us could be being harmed without even knowing; as carbon monoxide cannot be detected by human senses. We will be joining the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG)’s annual campaign from 22 – 28 November 2021 to raise awareness and help consumers and the public to wise up to carbon monoxide.

Steve Dacre, Vulnerability Innovation Lead at NGN said: “This is extremely important to us because we know it’s going to be a challenging winter for many people this year, because of the rising cost of living and increasing energy bills. But we want to make sure people don’t sacrifice safety because of this, as there are several simple steps everyone can take to protect themselves against carbon monoxide.

“Firstly, get your gas appliances serviced every year by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. Secondly, buy an audible carbon monoxide alarm as it could save your life. Finally, if you smell gas or suspect CO poisoning call the National Gas Emergency Service number on 0800 111 999 immediately. An engineer will visit you within the hour to check your property.”

Key Messages for Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week #COAW21:

  1. Carbon monoxide is not only a killer: Sub-lethal poisoning is associated with chronic health conditions
  2. Symptoms of exposure + understanding COMA: Raising awareness to aid identification of potential exposures
  3. Staying safe: Behaviours that increase & reduce CO risks, Gas Emergency Service number 0800 111 999

There is concern amongst MPs and engineers that the increasing costs of living will have a negative impact on many households who are struggling, as they may be unable to afford the usual upkeep and maintenance on their homes this winter. Servicing your boiler isn’t going to make it to the top of your to do list if you’re finding it difficult to put food on the table or worrying how you’re going to afford essential medication. However, this could put you at greater risk of exposure to carbon monoxide.

The All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) is leading the campaign, using the hashtag #COAW21. Barry Sheerman MP, Co-Chair of the parliamentary group says:

“I am urging everyone to understand the dangers posed by carbon monoxide. Each year in November, Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week is held to raise awareness of what you can do to stay safe and protect your family. Number one is getting your appliances serviced and investing in a carbon monoxide alarm. But if that’s not affordable for you, there are still simple things you can do to stay safe. Learn the signs that carbon monoxide could be around and save the Gas Emergency Service number 0800 111 999 on to your phone today – it could save a life!”

This year, it is more important than ever to support our communities and keep an eye for the early warning signs that something might not be safe. The All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) has partnered with United Against CO to produce a range of awareness raising content and online tools that can be downloaded for free. Keep safe this winter – get your online tool kit today and start spreading the word about carbon monoxide!

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Northern Gas Networks and HEY Children’s University take their partnership on the road


Northern Gas Networks and Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY) Children’s University have teamed up on an exciting new project which will help inspire a love of reading for children living in the Care system.

HEY Children’s University is a charity that aims to raise the aspirations, self esteem and resilience of disadvantaged children. The charity works with over 7,000 children a year, providing them with experiences and interventions which they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

Northern Gas Networks has been one of the charity’s corporate partners for the past eight years and instrumental in helping it to grow and reach a greater number of children.

HEY Children’s University applied for Northern Gas Networks’ Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Allowance funding, which is provided by Ofgem for all gas distribution networks.

Their proposal was to fund a reading camper van which would solve the problem of limited 1:1 reading space in some schools. HEY Children’s University delivers a reading intervention programme called the Letterbox Club in which children in care receive a monthly letterbox parcel filled with books.

The HEY Children’s University Letterbox Tutors visit the children at their school and hold reading sessions with the children to help them to progress and develop a love of reading. The tutors work specifically with looked after children in year groups 3 to 7 and visit them on a weekly basis. Sometimes it can be difficult to find a quiet spot to sit and read inside school when there are many distractions, so the van (kitted out as a perfect “reading corner”) provides a space to do this. The children can even choose to read outside the van on one of the beanbags!

The van will also be used for HEY Children’s University to deliver carbon monoxide awareness sessions in school.

Natasha Barley, Director of HEY Children’s University said: “We have such an amazing partnership with NGN. NGN identified that literacy and employability were key issues to address in Hull and the East Riding. The reading van will help us ensure that children in care are able to access their reading sessions.

“The sessions take place for up to three years and children finish the programme at expected reading age or above which in turn helps them to achieve academically and go on to gain qualifications and employment.

“It’s also very important for children to be educated about the dangers of carbon monoxide and the sessions delivered in schools across Hull and the East Riding will ensure that children are educated about this important issue. We’re very excited about this new initiative and look forward to seeing the van in action changing lives.”

NGN is the gas distribution network for the North East, Yorkshire and northern Cumbria, transporting gas to 2.7 million homes and businesses across the region.

Ensuring children stay safe and know about the dangers of carbon monoxide is one of their key priorities. The HEY Children’s University tutors will travel around Hull and the East Riding to deliver these important sessions to schools.

Mark Horsley, CEO of Northern Gas Networks said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be part of the Reading Van project, supporting children and young people in communities across Hull and East Riding.

“Developing these early skills is vitally important when we think about the workforce of the future, and ensuring young people are equipped with the tools they need to build careers and flourish in years to come.”

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Northern Gas Networks completes work to replace ageing metal gas mains in Harrogate


Northern Gas Networks (NGN) is pleased to confirm that essential engineering work to upgrade ageing metal gas mains on the Ripon Road in Harrogate is now complete.

The temporary traffic lights on the Ripon Road will be removed this weekend once reinstatement work has been completed.

Around 3,000 customers in the HG1, HG2, HG3 and HG4 areas of Harrogate lost their gas supply following a gas escape on the Ripon Road on Friday 15 October.  NGN’s immediate priority was to repair the pipe and safely restore gas supplies to customers affected.  NGN has since engaged the HSE and instructed an internal investigation to understand the full circumstances.

While the internal investigation is still ongoing, NGN can confirm that the gas pipe was damaged during essential gas mains replacement work which was being carried out by a specialist sub-contractor working on behalf of NGN.

John Richardson, Customer Operations Director at Northern Gas Networks said: “Every year NGN completes hundreds of projects to upgrade the gas mains throughout the North of England as part of our ongoing programme to modernise the gas network.  NGN has established safety procedures in place for working near pipelines and unexpected interruptions to gas supply are extremely rare.

“The safety of our engineers and members of the public is our priority and we are supporting the teams and contracting partners involved to ensure that we learn from what happened and put the appropriate measures in place so that safety is never compromised.

“We’d like to reiterate our thanks to everyone affected for your patience while we worked to restore gas supplies, and to the community for their tremendous support during this time.”

In the coming weeks NGN will be hosting a public meeting and inviting customers and stakeholders to join NGN colleagues to reflect on the incident and take a deeper look at the events of that weekend.  The purpose of the meeting is to give customers the opportunity to share their feedback and for NGN to gather valuable insight to enable them to continue to improve their response.

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.

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Community using hydrogen blended gas on a public network for the first time

  • Winlaton, Gateshead has become first community to receive hydrogen blend via the public natural gas network
  • 668 houses and a school are receiving the blend
  • Residents continue to use their gas supply with no changes to appliances needed

The next phase of a ground-breaking green energy trial that could help Britain dramatically cut its carbon emissions and open the door to a low-carbon hydrogen economy has begun.

The HyDeploy project is blending hydrogen with natural gas on a public gas network in Winlaton, Gateshead operated by Northern Gas Networks.

Heating in the UK is currently responsible for a third of carbon emissions. Because hydrogen produces no carbon at the point of use, it is a viable alternative for heating homes and businesses to achieve the Government’s target of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

HyDeploy is a £22.5m Ofgem Network Innovation Competition project delivered by a consortium, including partners Northern Gas Networks, Cadent, Progressive Energy Ltd, Keele University, HSE – Science Division and ITM Power.

The first phase of HyDeploy saw 100 homes and around 30 commercial buildings on a closed network at Keele University successfully use the hydrogen blend for a period of 18 months which ended in the spring 2021.

In a ten-month long pilot, HyDeploy is now blending up to 20% of hydrogen (by volume) for 668 homes and a primary school in Winlaton.

Customers are continuing to use their gas supply and appliances as normal, without any changes needed to gas appliances or pipework as current gas appliances are designed to operate with a blend of up to 23% hydrogen.

Winlaton resident, Biba Thompson said “There has been no difference to using our gas since the hydrogen was introduced. I am the sheltered scheme officer for some housing in the pilot area and everyone here is enthusiastic about doing their bit to reverse the effects for climate change and agrees that it’s great that our small village in the North East was chosen for such a ground-breaking pilot.”

Tim Harwood, Programme Management and H21 Project Director at Northern Gas Networks, said: “We’re delighted to have started supplying blended gas at Winlaton. The project will provide more vital evidence about the possibilities of blending hydrogen into the natural gas network across the UK, as a stepping-stone to decarbonising heat with no disruption to customers’

Dr Angela Needle, Director of Strategy at Cadent said “Supplying blended hydrogen gas at Winlaton builds on the successful completion of a trial on a private gas network at Keele University. From October 2019 until March 2021 customers living in 100 homes and 30 university buildings safely received a supply of blended gas without the need to make any changes to their existing appliances.”

The HSE granted HyDeploy an exemption to the current limit of 0.1% hydrogen in the UK gas network after the project gathered extensive evidence to demonstrate the hydrogen blend will be both greener and safer than natural gas.

– ENDS –

Fast facts

  • Heating homes and industry accounts for nearly half of all energy use in the UK and one third of the country’s carbon emissions.
  • If hydrogen were blended with natural gas across the UK at a similar level to HyDeploy, it could save around 6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, the equivalent of taking 2.5 million cars off the road.
  • Hydrogen was a major component in ‘town gas’, gas created from coal and used widely throughout Britain before the discovery of North Sea gas in the 1960s. Up to 60% of the gas (by volume) being used by consumers was hydrogen.
  • Across Europe, permitted levels of hydrogen in the gas supply vary, from 0.1% in the UK to up to 12% in parts of the Netherlands
  • Blending hydrogen is a non-disruptive way to kickstart the transition to hydrogen, allowing a significant hydrogen supply to be built up whilst not requiring any changes to domestic consumers appliances or installations.
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Young people take part in energy transition panel discussion with industry leaders


Members of Northern Gas Networks’ Young Innovators Council have taken part in a panel discussion with industry leaders, at an event held by the Decarbonised Gas Alliance to coincide with the COP26 conference.

The panel discussion, which was held at Northern Gas Networks (NGN) innovation site at Low Thornley near Gateshead focussed on future career opportunities which could be created as part of the growth of the green economy, as the country transitions to using cleaner energy,

The panel comprised young people aged from 15 to 18 alongside Tim Harwood, Programme Management Director and Melanie Taylor, Head of Stakeholder Relations from NGN, BP’s Stuart Walker, Ivan Jepson from Gateshead College and Chris Barron representing the Decarbonised Gas Alliance.  It was facilitated by Jen Baughan, CEO of Solutions for the Plant. The panel discussed a range of topics including the new jobs which will be created through a Net Zero transition and how these jobs could be designed to attract young people. The panel explored opportunities for the next generation workforce in the North East and how the region can be at the forefront of the Government’s proposed Green Industrial Revolution.

The Young Innovators council is a group of 35 young people aged 14 to 18 years old, cocreated by NGN and Solutions for the Planets’ Youth Insights team. NGN consults the group on a range of topics to ensure the decisions made today take account of their views as the next generation of potential employees and customers.

Head of Stakeholder Relations at NGN, Melanie Taylor said “It was really inspiring to hear members of our Young Innovators Council speaking so articulately about the energy transition and to challenge us with questions on a wide range of topics from public engagement to geopolitics.”

Six members of the council attended the event. In addition to taking part in the panel discussion, the panel took a tour of the UK’s first Hydrogen Homes which are based at the site. The homes, which were built this year by NGN in partnership with fellow gas distributor Cadent and the Government, demonstrate 100% hydrogen appliances including cookers, hobs, boilers and fires.

The homes’ appliances look and operate in the same way as today’s gas appliances but, because hydrogen does not produce any carbon when burned, they are compatible with a future without carbon emissions.  The homes aim to demonstrate that people can continue to heat their homes and cook the way they do today but still tackle climate change.

Melanie Taylor continued: “It was particularly special to welcome members of our Young Innovators Council to tour the Hydrogen Home, as they helped us in the design of the homes and the visitor experience earlier in the year, so they saw first-hand how their ideas had been incorporated. They were even able cook their own lunch on the hydrogen gas hobs.”

Young Innovator Council Member Mille Sutton from Gateshead, aged 15 commented: “Being able to visit the hydrogen house and physically go into the house and cooking on hydrogen gas really helps put into perspective that using hydrogen as a form of gas is achievable and can be easily integrated into our lives.  The experience of seeing a house fully powered by hydrogen was amazing and provided me with true hope that one day we can reach net zero by this gas conversion.”

Joshua Hickson from Hexham, also aged 15 added: “Through the Young Innovators Council it has been amazing to see how hydrogen may be the future of our homes in Britain. It has been absolutely fascinating learning about what Northern Gas Networks is doing, but simply seeing the Hydrogen House in person made me realise that it isn’t just a concept but in fact the future of energy lies in hydrogen, across not only the UK but possibly the entire globe. To see the Hydrogen Home in action along with being the first members of the public to cook on hydrogen appliances was truly inspiring. Being able to see the Hydrogen Home in person truly does give me hope that in the near future, we will tackle climate change, once and for all.”


Young innovator council members outside the Hydrogen Home. Pictured left to right  – Taylor Leyland-Dennett, Kaitlin Smith, Ellie Cook, Joshua Hickson, Imogen Stout and Millie Sutton

Hydrogen Home Liaison Officer Alexandra Brightman showing young innovators the 100% hydrogen hob

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Update – 6pm, Thursday 21st October 2021: Interruption to gas supplies in Harrogate


Earlier today we were made aware that some customers in the HG1, HG2, HG3 and HG4 postcode areas of Harrogate may be experiencing low gas pressure following loss of supply to properties in the area this weekend.

Work is progressing well to reinforce the local network to make sure that supplies can be maintained.

We will be providing a further update at 8pm this evening.

If you live or work in the area affected, we are asking once again to please temporarily minimise your use of gas while work is underway.  By avoiding all non-essential use, people can help ensure there is enough gas in the system to go around everyone.  That means trying not to use central heating, and avoiding taking showers if you have a combi boiler, until further notice.

Our advice remains the same, if you were affected by the recent loss of supply in Harrogate, and are experiencing low gas pressure or are currently without gas, please follow the step-by-step instructions that we issued to you in the letter sent on Sunday 17th October to safely turn your gas back on.

These step-by-step instructions are also detailed below:

For your safety, and that of those around you, please follow these instructions in the order they appear below.


  1. Make sure all the gas appliances in the property are turned off (boiler, cooker, fire, and so on) before you try to turn the gas supply back on.
  2. Open some doors and windows in your property for ventilation.
  3. Turn on your gas supply at the meter.
  • Give the emergency control valve (a spanner-style handle close to the gas meter) a quarter turn in either direction, setting it in line with the gas pipe. Some pipes have yellow tape to help guide you. There may be a slight hissing noise as the meter re-pressurises.
  1. If you smell gas, turn the emergency control valve off again and call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999 immediately. Do not try to turn any appliances back on.

If you cannot smell gas, continue with the following steps.


  1. Turn on your gas appliances one at a time according to the manufacturer’s instructions (many boilers and fires will have instructions on the inside of a drop-down flap near the controls).
  • Start with your gas hob if you have one. It may take a little longer than usual for the gas to reach appliances and light.


  1. If you successfully turn on your gas supply and gas appliances, you don’t need to do anything else.
  2. If you cannot turn your emergency control valve on, or you are having difficulty turning your appliances back on, you must turn everything off again (including the emergency control valve) and call us for help on 0800 040 7766 followed by option 3.

If you are experiencing boiler issues, or need help turning your gas back on, please call our Customer Care Team on 0800 040 7766 and select option 3.

If you smell gas, please call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999.

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NGN carrying out essential repairs on the gas network at Felling Bypass, Gateshead


Engineers from Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the North of England’s gas distributor, are carrying out emergency repairs to the gas network after a gas escape was located on Felling Bypass in Gateshead, heading towards Newcastle City Centre.

Due to the location of the gas main in the highway, lane one of the westbound carriageway will be closed until further notice while the repairs take place.

Michael Brown, Site manager at Northern Gas Networks, said: “The safety of our customers and engineers is our number one priority.

“Closing the lane is essential in ensuring the public and our workforce stay safe at all times as we work to carry this repair out as quickly as possible.

“We would like to thank customers for their patience at this time and apologise for any inconvenience experienced. We will keep businesses and road users updated throughout the work.”

For further information about the project please contact NGN’s Customer Care Team on 0800 040 7766 or email:

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.

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Response to the Heat & Buildings Strategy


In response to the publication of the Heat and Building Strategy, Mark Horsley, CEO at Northern Gas Networks said

“The scale and the complexity of the challenge to decarbonise heat should not be underestimated and a range of green energy solutions need to be deployed to meet the Net Zero target and ensure a fair energy transition for everyone.

“Whilst heat pumps, which run on electricity can be a great choice for newer, well insulated properties, it’s vital to acknowledge that clean burning hydrogen gas is needed to meet the country’s energy demand and keep everyone warm on a cold winter’s day.

“We support a multi-fuel approach, including heat pumps and hydrogen ready boilers, to provide our customers with a resilient, clean energy system which provides choice and real value for money.

“We know that millions of homes in the UK are poorly insulated, with energy efficiency ratings of older properties typically well below today’s standards.  Heat pumps in these properties are less efficient without significant energy efficiency improvements, which ultimately adds huge cost to the homeowner.

“We are very proud to be working with the Government towards the hydrogen targets set out in its strategy. We are currently hosting the first hydrogen blending pilot for nearly 700 homes on a public gas network at Winlaton near Gateshead and are leading the H21 project which is exploring the work needed to ensure conversion to a hydrogen network which is as safe and resilient at today’s natural gas network.

“Our Hydrogen Home, built this year in partnership with Cadent and UK Government is demonstrating 100% hydrogen appliances, including boilers, fires and cookers from leading UK manufacturers. These appliances look and feel just like today’s natural gas versions and work in the same way as they use existing pipework and radiators, but the big difference is they don’t produce any carbon at point of use. The homes, which are open to the public, show that our homes can be converted to low carbon heating with limited cost and disruption.

“The UK’s gas network is a unique asset and one that is central to decarbonisation not just of home heating, but for heavy industry and transport.  Unlocking the potential of our existing energy infrastructure, by converting the network to 100% hydrogen, will provide the backbone for the decarbonisation of some of the country’s biggest carbon contributors, creating a 21st Century green pipeline that will be fit for the future and position the UK as a world leader in the net zero energy transition.“


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Update 5.05pm, Friday 15th October 2021: Emergency repairs at Ripon Road, Harrogate


Engineers from Northern Gas Networks are carrying out emergency repairs to a medium pressure gas main on Ripon Road in Harrogate today (Friday, 15th October 2021).

As a precaution, businesses along Ripon Road have been evacuated, including the Co-Op petrol station, Shell Garage and the Hydro leisure centre.

There currently no effect on gas supply to local homes and businesses however there is a strong smell of gas in the area.

To protect teams and members of the public, a temporary road closure has been introduced to allow the repairs to be carried out.

Motorists using Ripon Road are advised to find alternative routes as this is likely to impact journey times today.

Keep posted to for further updates.

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