Gas alert lasts nine weeks

GOING for nine weeks ... gasworks
GOING for nine weeks ... gasworks

RESIDENTS in a quiet Scarborough cul-de-sac are demanding answers over gas seeping into the air around their homes – nine weeks after investigations began.

Two major gas mains which run under Weaponness Valley Close have now been cut off, but residents say they are still smelling gas, have had to put up with more than two months of disruption and are concerned about their health.

“We’re getting different stories from different people,” said resident Jamie Jamieson.

Work to install plastic replacements to the ageing metal mains is due to begin next week, but residents say they want engineers to discover the root cause of the leak. “The residents are very concerned,” Mr Jamieson added.

“Northern Gas Networks have a duty to excavate and find out what’s caused this and make sure it never happens again.” Residents have also claimed house prices in the street could be affected by the work.

Diana Tasker said: “Who is going to buy a property here with an unknown factor hanging over us?”

A spokesperson for Northern Gas Networks claimed it is impossible to determine what caused the leak in the first place and that gas levels will continue to be monitored.

However, it has been claimed that the company is putting cost ahead of safety and residents’ piece of mind.

Residents say that it is common for Northern Gas Networks staff to remain in the street overnight, and that as many as six vans can be present in the small street at any one time.

They say they held a meeting with company representative John Richardson three weeks ago, but have not received the response they were promised within 10 working days.

They also disputed Northern Gas Networks’ claim that they have kept residents up to date on what has gone on.

“We have tried to do everything by the book, but they have not been very helpful. Nine weeks is a long time,” Miss Tasker added.

Nicola Ruff said: “We’ve got no idea. No-one has told us anything.” Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “The vans have been here 24 hours a day.”

The spokesperson for Northern Gas Networks said yesterday that there were currently no gas escapes in the area, and that residents may experience smells related to the repairs.

In a statement, the company added: “We attended a report of a gas escape outside 10, Weaponness Valley Close, on 9 March. Our engineers immediately set about making the area safe and at a later date, cut-off the gas supply to the leaking main.

“We decided the best course of action would be to replace the pipe with a durable plastic version, which has an expected life-span of around 80 years. Work is due to start next week and is expected to take around three weeks to complete.

“We would like to thank residents for their on-going patience and understanding while we complete this vital project.”