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10 months of hell over gasworks

PUBLISHED: 15:50 28 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:14 07 September 2010

Robyn Rosen UNDERGROUND gas pipes are to be ripped out and replaced in thousands of homes and properties over the next year. National Grid began work earlier this month as part of a £650,000 project to replace the old iron gas mains beneath the streets

Robyn Rosen

UNDERGROUND gas pipes are to be ripped out and replaced in thousands of homes and properties over the next year.

National Grid began work earlier this month as part of a £650,000 project to replace the old iron gas mains beneath the streets in Fortis Green, Muswell Hill.

National Grid has announced it will invest the money to "provide safe, secure and reliable gas supplies for Fortis Green in Haringey in the coming decades".

The work, due to take 10 months, includes replacing old iron gas mains beneath the streets of Fortis Green with new hard-wearing plastic pipes which should last a minimum of 80 years.

In July the major work begins with six kilometres of mains being replaced in Fortis Green, Creighton Avenue, Durham Road, Hertford Road and other surrounding streets.

But residents living in the area are concerned about the likely disruption they will suffer.

Lucinda Cooper, co-owner of Emporium Tea Shop in Fortis Green, said: "I think it's awful. It will be horrendous. We're a small business so it will really affect us. Whenever there are road works going on, our delivery van is really late. I'm worried about having loads of traffic outside. It's going to be hellish."

John Hajdu, chairman of the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association, said: "It's unbelievable. These are major works.

"Creighton Avenue is a major through road from the North Circular towards town.

"This will lead to congestion on all other roads in the area and a very unpleasant way of living for the residents for a year.

"The increased traffic will cause increased problems and accidents and could be very dangerous."

A spokesman said that where possible the new mains will be inserted into the old mains to minimise the need for excavations and to reduce traffic disruption.

Residents and businesses will also be notified if service pipes to their properties are to be replaced, as engineers will need access to ensure a safe connection.

Michael Morris, National Grid construction operations engineer, said: "We apologise for any disruption our work may cause. However this work is essential and the end result will be efficient and safe gas supplies for people in future years. I would also like to remind people that they should ask to see official identification before they let people into their property."

The project forms part of National Grid's national mains replacement programme as agreed with the Health and Safety Executive, which involves replacing all metallic mains within 30 metres of buildings.


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