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Publication date:- 2016-11-10

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Problems as the 'Gas Mains Replacement Programme' hits the Formby area

THE 'Gas Mains Replacement Programme' in the UK has been slowly replacing metal gas pipes, which are currently reaching the end of their useful life, after been in the ground for decades. Gas needs to travel through the high pressure transmission system, then through the medium and low pressure distribution networks to reach the consumer. Complex delivery system of pipes, if damaged, can lead to major disruption to services.  Also the consequences of damage to pipelines can be catastrophic, resulting in damage to buildings, severe injuries or even, in extreme cases, death. As the age of these pipes get higher, so does the risk.

For several years the UK's Gas distribution Networks (GDNs) have been working hard to replace this ageing network of cast iron and ductile mains, especially those within 30 metres of buildings. In our Merseyside area, we fall under the National Grid, who has more than 81399 miles of Gas Distribution Pipes, which we are told serves over 11 million homes and businesses on its network and growing. Sadly, this need to replace the network does come with associated problems. With so many homes and businesses being affected, the National Grid uses various ways to keep customers informed of why, when and where the work is being carried out. It is often done via:- letters, leaflet distribution, drop in sessions within local communities, as well as using the local media, social media, Twitter and other forms of warnings, including signs that carry quick response codes for some projects.

As this work is nearing the penultimate stage within Merseyside area, Formby is now one of the areas seeing roads and pavements being dug up. Sadly, not all households affected have appeared to be notified. This has lead to some local residents complaining. One local resident, Andy Johnson, said:- "I have no problem with the work being carried out, it is the fact I had no notification about it. I was told on the day and it left me no access to my drive. I carry expensive and heavy items to and from my workshop, which needs to be taken via my drive. For a few days I could not use it. This upset me as it affected my business. Where do I park my cars? What was more shocking was the fact the barriers where left in a dangerous manner. It has meant the road is both dangerous for disabled people and other vulnerable groups such as elderly people, children and those with push chairs. It was dangerous not only for pedestrians, but also for other road users, with hidden obstacles both sides of the road and barriers not properly erected." These issues where supported by other locals, but they did not want to be named or identified. All of them appreciated that the work had to be done, but all felt that it was not being handled in the correct way.

We contacted the contractor, a North West based firm, from Wigan, who has been subcontracted by the main contractor to do the wotk. The subcontractor's Managing Director told us that they only do the work laying the pipes and that both the traffic management and the letters are done by other contactors. He also apologised as he had not been aware of the issues. As soon as he was alerted to the issues, he visited the site in person and spoke to Mr Johnson to try to alleviate the situation.

After the meeting Mr Johnson told us:- "I was extremely pleased by his professionalism and the fact he came to see me and the road! Both him and his workers are fantastic. I have no issues with them and yes this issue I have raised is a small issue, but it has major impact on people's lives. He understands this and agrees to what I have said. As a result he has made notes to help them try to prevent issues in future and will pass them on to the relevant people up the chain. He also helped us to sort out the access issues we had. We would like to thank him for his efforts. But we feel sorry he was the one who faced the questions. The fact is, it is the National Grid should have done better research to prevent issues like this happening. We only got a letter this week from them saying that work is due to take place, as the work was taking place! Oddly the roads on the signs and on my letter all have different dates on, plus the roads written on them are wrong! This was a confusing mess and I suggest residents in Formby, and the rest of the UK, take note! No access also means no access to your drive or pathway, so if you get a letter make a note to call the National Grid to check when the work is taking place. It might not be the time or dates stated! If you do not check, you could find your car stranded, or if disabled, you could also have other issues!"

We have opted not to say who the firm is, as it was clear that they did their best to help and it was not the firm's fault. We would also like to thank them for keeping us informed.

We think the issue was partly coursed by confusion between:- "Altcar Road" who are due to have work carried out later in December and the road affected:- "Altcar Lane." Both of them in Formby and connected to each other.

We know that this work will be moving throughout Formby, so as Mr Johnson says:- "take note" of the issues that have affected residents in Altcar Lane.

Also, if you have any issues connected to this topic, please let us know via emailing us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.com. We will do our best to get the information for you, so you can sort it out.

Did you know that there are only 8 GDN's, throughout the British Isles which are owned by:- National Grid, Northern Gas
Networks, SGN and Wales and West Utilities? Did you know that all 8 fall under the Energy Networks Association (ENA) who represents the 'wires and pipes' transmission and distribution network operators
for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland?

For information on safety requirements on street and road works, we have got a copy of the "Code of Practice" for you to read. It that was issued in October 2013, with the current rules and regulations on it. To read the pdf, please click on here or visit the Government website to get a copy.

 
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Award Winning Vintage Fair Returns to Liverpool for an Autumn Special
State of the Nation 2016: Social Mobility in Great Britain
Pre-Christmas parking boost for local retailers
Mayor's Christmas Tea Dance to bring festive cheer
Long commutes in the North West up by a 5th, finds TUC
Families living in new homes slash fuel bills by ½
Wi-Fi available to visitors at Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals
Wirral Council encourage HIV testing for adults during HIV testing week
Merseyside Search and Rescue are looking for new member
Liverpool's star turn as Fantastic Beasts hits cinemas
Complaints against Merseyside Police have fallen by 26%
Appeal to trace wanted person
3 men sentenced for the murder of 16 year old, Lewis Dunne
3 local men get National Police and Public Bravery Awards
CCTV Appeal by Merseyside Police to find scrambler bike riders
Action targeting drivers who use their mobile phones
17 year old male assaulted in Southport's Cambridge Arcade
Sefton Remembers "They shall not be forgotten"
Gig Review:- 'Seann Walsh'
Co-operative has opened a new store in Formby
Liverpool Arena has hosted a sell out "Simply Red" concert
Liverpool's star turn as Fantastic Beasts hits cinemas

Click on to find out all about this news item...

The River of Light 2016 - Part 2

ON Saturday, 5 November 2016, both Liverpool City... Click on here to find out more.

Click on to read an exclusive interview with Liverpool based Scream Streets author...
Click on to read on!

Click on to read on!

 

B.O.A. 70th Anniversary DVD
 

Click on to buy now...THE video footage we have taken at the 70th BOA events this year in Liverpool has now been fully edited is available to buy, on a DVD, from our Online Shop, on Mersey Reporter very soon.  For each DVD sold, £3.00 will go to the Liverpool's Lord Mayor's Charity Appeal. (Registered Charity No. 229539)  At this stage we can only do UK postage options, but if you are outside the UK, you can still order copies, but only via emailing our newsroom at:- news24@merseyreporter.com with your FULL address and we will get back to you with a postage cost and a payment link, should you wish to continue.

 

The countdown is on until opening of 80's cult classic Rita, Sue and Bob Too!

THE countdown is on until the opening of the 80's cult classic Rita, Sue and Bob Too! which returns to St Helens Theatre Royal stage, on Tuesday, 22 November 2016. West End and TV star Darren Day plays the lead role Bob in this hilarious comedy play by Andrea Dunbar which is based on the 1987 British film and willrunns until Saturday, 26 November 2016. Back by popular demand, previous productions of the play have broken Box Office records at St Helens Theatre Royal in 2011, 2012 and 2015 and 2016 looks set to be another sell out success. Brought to the stage by Regal Entertainments Ltd, the play is directed by Sylvia Gattrill and features a brilliantly funny script, an impressive all star cast and is bursting with all the best 80s music, taking you on a hilarious trip down memory lane.

Darren said:- "This is such a great play. I'm really looking forward to playing Bob and to performing at St Helen's Theatre Royal for the 1st time."

The play tells the story of Rita and Sue, 2 working class girls from a rundown Council estate who are about to finish their final year at School. In their spare time, they earn money babysitting for married couple Bob and Michelle. Behind Michelle's back, Bob embarks on an affair with both Rita and Sue, who take it in turns with him in his car in the countryside. Michelle eventually finds out and leaves lothario Bob. When Bob later develops a preference for Rita, the two girls fall out but when Sue ends up in an abusive relationship, the trio are reunited. Darren, a star of stage and screen and well known TV presenter, will be acting alongside his real life wife, Emmerdale actress, Stephanie Dooley, who plays Michelle. They will be joined by Emily Fleesham (Open All Hours) and Olivia Sloyan (Blood Brothers) play schoolgirls Rita and Sue. Meanwhile, the hilarious Benidorm star Crissy Rock stars as the Mum and Coronation Street actor and star of The Comedians, Duggie Brown, will play the Dad.

So be sure to join Regal Entertainments Ltd and watch as the comedy unfolds in this gritty tale of love, lust and the ultimate test of friendship when Rita, Sue and Bob Too! returns to St Helens Theatre Royal, from Tuesday, 22 November 2016 to Saturday, 26 November 2016.

Chantelle Nolan, Theatre Manager said:- "We are delighted to welcome Darren Day to the cast of Rita, Sue and Bob Too! With his pedigree, we're sure he will be brilliant in the role of Bob so don't miss this brilliant comedy which will have you rolling in the aisles again and again!"

For more information, please visit:- StHelensTheatreRoyal.com or alternatively, you can also call:- 01744 756 000.

Suitable for over 18's only!

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