A major project is set to get underway next month to replace one of Southport’s oldest and largest gas main lines, which pre-dates the Second World War.

Over 1,000 metres of gas pipping will be officially ‘retired’ and replaced after faithfully supplying the town with gas for more than 90 years.

Engineers from Cadent are set to begin works on the pipeline, which is situated under Sussex Road, in early November. 

Cadent, which manages the North West’s 21,000-mile underground gas network, have announced the £640,000 works will end increasingly frequent visits, and as a result roadworks, to repair this ageing pipe.

Thanks to advances in new technology, there is only expected to be minimal disruption to gas supply in the area with just 60 homes seeing a short interruption of gas supply.

While a small number of homes will be without gas for less than a day, the full project will run for around four months. This is because of the complex engineering required to decommission and replace the old pipe, and to make sure everyone is kept safe while carrying out the work.

Sussex Road will remain open to traffic throughout the duration of the works, with temporary traffic lights controlling the safe movement of vehicles around the on-site engineers.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “This is yet another example of great partnership work between Cadent and our highways network team at Sefton Council.

“There should be no interruption to local supplies, except for 60 properties along the road that will temporarily lose supply for less than a day.

“We have made sure access will remain to all properties and businesses, which can stay open with minimal disruption.

“Ourselves and our partners remain committed to ensuring Sefton soon becomes a net zero emissions borough and to that end plans are at an advanced stage to introduce green gases like hydrogen to the gas network soon.”

Craig Horrocks, who heads Cadent’s gas mains replacement programme in North West England, said: “This is an old pipe, a workhorse of the gas network installed some 90 years ago.

“It is though starting to show signs of its age and must now be replaced to ensure safety and reliability.”

He added: “We’ve worked closely with Sefton Council to come up with a plan that minimises the inevitable disruption that happens with major engineering work like this.

“We know it’s not ideal and I really appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we get this essential work done.”