More than a year of traffic jams ahead

Queues of traffic on Seamer Road.
Queues of traffic on Seamer Road.
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SCARBOROUGH motorists are to be blighted by road works on one of the town’s busiest routes for more than a year.

Seamer Road is at the centre of an £842,000 project to upgrade two ageing metal gas mains.

The road, which carries on average 13,000 vehicles a day, will be subject to road works until Easter 2013 under the scheme.

Northern Gas Networks are carrying out the project in a bid to bring an end to disruptive gas escapes that have affected the area for years.

The news comes just days after 24 homes had to be evacuated overnight and Seamer Road was closed completely when a worker damaged a gas main while working on the site.

The project, which will be the gas company’s largest single gas mains investment this year, will see the replacement of 2.4km of ageing 18in cast iron pipes under Seamer Road and Valley Road.

The work will be carried out in three phases, the first of which has been completed between October 2011 and January 2012, when new services pipes were laid connecting homes to the gas mains in the street.

Phase two is now underway, with two way traffic lights in place as workers replace two old metal gas pipes with plastic versions.

New pipe is being laid in around 100m sections between Seamer Street and Barry’s Lane and is expected to be completed by Easter.

The emergency pipe repairs this week are not expected to have set the project back.

Gordon Thompson, of Northern Gas Networks said: “We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the gas leak in Scarborough this week and to reassure our customers that we are working with our contractor to ensure that we learn from this.

“It was, however, an isolated incident. We have a strong track-record when it comes to safely managing gas mains upgrade projects, successfully completing more than 600 such schemes every year.

“We are very aware that the work on Seamer Road is likely to be disruptive to traffic and we know that no-one likes to be faced with roadworks, especially over a sustained period. But, once it is complete, the area will have a safe, modern and reliable gas supply in place that will signal the end of the disruptive emergency repairs that are due to the age of the pipes currently in place.”

Motorists will be given a break from road works over the summer due an agreement between the gas company and North Yorkshire County Council, drawn up in a bid to ensure the work does not impact on tourism in the town.

Phase three will then start at the end of October, and is expected to be completed by Easter 2013 following a suspension of all work at Christmas designed to minimise disruption over what has been deemed a “critical point” in the year.

The level of road works required for this phase is yet to be agreed between the gas company and the county council.

Details of Phase Three:

This stage will get underway at the start of October this year.

Engineers will resume working on Seamer Road at its junction with Seamer Street and will progress towards St James Church.

When engineers reach the junction at St James Church, the two gas mains split at a fork.

The gas main heading down Valley Road will be replaced first, up to its junction with St James Road.

Engineers will then work on upgrading the main that continues along Seamer Road, up to its junction with Springhill Close.

The work is due to be completed by Easter 2013.