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Nine weeks of disruption to Exeter city centre as upgrade to gas network is announced

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: December 06, 2013

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Wales & West Utilities (WWU) is planning an investment programme to upgrade the gas network in parts of Exeter city centre which will see nine weeks of disruption to the city centre.

Work is due to start at the end of January 2014 and it is anticipated that it will take approximately nine weeks to complete the scheme.

The project - to install 335 metres of new plastic gas pipe with a lifespan of more than 80 years is part of the company’s multi million pound, 30-year replacement programme across the region. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being replaced with highly durable, non-corroding plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years.

During the course of the scheme, work will be taking place in:

• Cathedral Yard

• Martins Lane

• High Street

• Catherine Street and

• Catherine Square

Wales & West Utilities project manager for the scheme Matthew Isaac said, “We know that working in busy cities is disruptive for local people and visitors and we have done our best to plan a gas mains replacement scheme for Exeter that will limit this inconvenience as much as possible. For local traders, it will be business as usual whilst we are on site and we will put up signs to clearly show this.

“As the majority of the area we will be working in is pedestrianised, so we do not anticipate any major traffic management. Working in Martins Lane will not be easy, the lane is too narrow for us to use any machinery here and we will have to dig all excavations by hand, but we will work closely with the businesses based there to maintain access whilst we work.

“In planning this scheme we have liaised with Exeter City Council and Exeter City Centre Management Partnership and will continue to work closely with them as the scheme progresses.”

We are writing to all those who will be affected by the scheme and inviting them to attend a drop-in information event. Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the project will be able to come along and ask questions of the project team, who will be pleased to help.”

The drop-in event will be held on Tuesday, 7th January at The Guildhall, High Street, Exeter, EX4 3EB between 16:00 and 19:00

John Harvey, Exeter City Centre Manager at Exeter City Centre Management Partnership said, “I’ve been working very closely with Wales & West Utilities to ensure that this latest phase of upgrading the gas network in Exeter City Centre is delivered with the minimum possible disruption to our shoppers & businesses. The recent track record of delivering major City Centre street works with minimum disruption is good – I’m in no doubt that the planned works timetable for early 2014 will be delivered on time and with the minimum possible disruption to the life of the City Centre.”

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