Upper Calder Valley commuters to Halifax face more delays while work to replace gas pipelines continues.
This week the scheme, which often bottlenecks traffic at Friendly, just beyond Luddenden Foot, was extended for a fourth time since it began around three months ago - and even though the road will be cleared by the middle of June in time for the Tour De France’s arrival in the valley on July 5 and 6, they will resume afterwards.
With some works also scheduled to start between Hebden Bridge and Mytholomroyd, motorists and commuters using the bus services look set for more misery to come.
A spokesman for Northern Gas Networks said engineers to work to improve the reliability of the gas network. The company is replacing ageing metal gas mains along the A646 with new durable plastic pipes to ensure the continued, safe and reliable supply of gas to residents in the area for years to come.
Northern Gas Networks construction manager, Andy Lambert said: “We’d like to apologise to motorists for any inconvenience caused while these essential repairs are carried out.
“The nature of the gas apparatus underground coupled with high traffic volume on a busy road has delayed our progress for which we do apologise.
“We are working with the Highways Department to minimise traffic disruption as much as possible.
“For example, we are manually operating traffic lights between 7am and 7pm to help keep the flow of traffic steady. The safety of members of the public is always our first priority and we’d like to thank everyone for their co-operation.
“We will be withdrawing from site June 13 to make way for the Tour De France event and returning to complete the work after the race has finished.
“We are also working on a number of other gas main replacement schemes in the Todmorden and Burnley Road areas such as the one between Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd and once again we apologise to motorists and residents for any inconvenience.”
Anyone who smells gas should call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.