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
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
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
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
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.
If you subscribed you can keep
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your information being passed on to 3rd parties.
ON Saturday, 5
November 2016, both Liverpool City... Click on
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B.O.A. 70th Anniversary DVD
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
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:-
with your FULL address and we
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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
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
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!"