Bury St Edmunds: Historic streets are set for gas mains revamp

THE full scale of National Grid’s plans to upgrade gas mains in the historic core of a premier tourist town has been revealed.

The energy firm plans to replace more than 3km of old metal gas mains with plastic ones in Bury St Edmunds.

Work is expected to begin next month and will last for about one year.

The full list of the streets affected has now been revealed. They include vast swathes of the town’s historic core including Angel Hill. Other roads affected include Guildhall Street, Well Street, Cannon Street, Petch Close, Cannonfields, Brentgovel Street, Looms Lane, Lower Baxter Street, Crown Street, Church Site, Darby’s Court, Long Bracklands, Westgate Street, Honey Hill, Ipswich Court, Ipswich Street, St Johns Street, A14/Eastgate Street Mustow Street, Angel Hill, Northgate Street, Westgate Street, Guildhall Street, The Vinefields, Cornhill, Central Walk and College Street.

A meeting with those affected will be held at The Athenaeum in Bury on March 16 from 7pm until 9pm.

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National Grid says the new platic piping was “hard wearing” and would “last for 80 years if left undisturbed once underground”.

National Grid said: “The project forms part of National Grid’s nationwide mains replacement programme, agreed with the Health and Safety Executive, to replace all metallic gas mains within 30 metres of buildings.

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“Morrison Utility Services will be carrying out this project on behalf of National Grid, which should be completed by the end of April 2012.

“Where possible, the new pipes will be inserted through the old ones, saving time and reducing the need for digging.”

Suffolk County Council has organised a separate meeting on April 13 for councillors, business leaders, taxi drivers, bus firms and community representatives to discuss the proposals.

In his letter to those invited, the council’s strategic traffic manager Peter Grimm said “It is clearly important to minimise the impact of the works” and to ensure the views of those in the community were “fully discussed and appreciated”.

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