The New Year is bringing new disruption to Scarborough residents as eight weeks of gas works are set to get under way.
Northern Gas Network will begin drilling exploratory holes in and around Castle Road on Monday January 6 as it starts a £300,000 upgrade to the ageing gas mains in the area.
The company admitted to the Scarborough News that it does not yet know the level or scale of the disruption the work will cause until after the first holes have been dug.
This is due to the fact the maps of the pipes are not thought to be 100 per cent accurate.
The work will see more than 700 metres of existing metal gas mains replaced with plastic pipes.
Garry Farnhill, customer operations area manager for Northern Gas Networks, said; “We have planned our work closely with Scarborough Borough Council to ensure minimum disruption to motorists, residents and local businesses.”
A public information session will be held on Wednesday January 8 from 5pm to 7pm at The Royal Hotel in St Nicholas Street.
It will give members of the public and businesses the chance to quiz the company and provide an opportunity for them to raise any concerns they may have about the work and its consequences.
Mr Farnhill added: “We would like to take this opportunity to apologise in advance for any inconvenience this essential work may cause.”
In order to carry out the work safely and efficiently, the company said it will be necessary to put traffic management systems such as road and lane closures in place and suspend some parking bays in the surrounding area.
The planned closures and suspensions include:
l Lane closure in St Thomas Street (left hand lane) for approximately four weeks.
l Suspension of parking bays in Westborough.
l A road closure from Castle Road to Westborough may also be necessary as the work progresses.
Shops and businesses will remain open as usual and pedestrian access will be maintained throughout the project.
One taxi driver, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s just a hazard of the job I suppose but looking at what they are doing I don’t think this one will be too bad. Fingers crossed anyway.”
Arriva and East Yorkshire Motor Service (EYMS) bus users are advised to check the companies’ websites and look out for signs at bus stops in case of any changes to routes in the affected areas.
Janet Jefferson, from the Scarborough Chamber of Commerce, said that she hoped it would not provide too many problems for traders in the area.
She said: “There are a lot of works that need to be done in and around the town centre.
“Hopefully, it will be a few weeks of headaches for traders in the name of some long-term improvement.”
Residents will be hoping that the works in and around Castle Road cause less disruption than the Northern Gas Networks project in Seamer Road, which caused traffic misery for more than 18 months.
Works on the £842,000 scheme to upgrade two ageing metal gas mains started in October 2011 and continued well into 2013, to try to put a stop to gas leaks. The work was delayed in February 2012 when Seamer Road was closed and 24 homes evacuated when a worker damaged a gas main.