Year of road works starts next week

WORKMEN will start digging up 3.7km of Great Yarmouth’s streets on Monday, in a gas mains replacement project that could derail the summer tourist trade.

National Grid’s �1.5 million project - to replace outdated iron gas mains with plastic pipes - will see 11 key town centre streets dug up, with temporary traffic lights and diversions in place.

The project’s manager has promised the year-long work will not hit tourist streets during the summer season, and now a full schedule of works has been unveiled - printed in this week’s Mercury.

But hoteliers and business owners remained fearful of the impact of work after a meeting with National Grid on March 1.

Project manager Chris Naylor said: “We have been working closely with Norfolk County Council and other key bodies in Great Yarmouth to plan the programme so that those works affecting the most sensitive commercial areas – the sea front and retail areas – take place during the autumn and winter and to accommodate any festivals and events.

“We will continue to work with businesses and local organisations to reduce disruption and accommodate any requirements, such as access and deliveries.”

The work - in partnership with Morrison Utility Services - is to begin on Monday.

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York Road and Black Friars are among the first roads to have new gas mains fitted, and Regent Road - the hub of the town’s tourist trade - will be worked upon from October to March 2013.

Bosses say the work is “essential”, and that hard-wearing plastic pipes will last more than 80 years once fitted - if left undisturbed in the ground.

“National Grid’s job is to connect people to the energy they use and ensure that residents and businesses continue to enjoy safe and reliable gas supplies for many years to come,” added Mr Naylor. “Our aim is to minimise the impact of this work on the community and local businesses.”

The work will be carried out in phases, but the dates are subject to change.

This project forms part of National Grid’s nationwide gas mains replacement programme, agreed with the Health and Safety Executive.

See the panel for the complete schedule of works, and if you have any queries about the project call National Grid’s Customer Support Team on 0845 246 1285.

HERE is the full schedule of gas mains replacement works, as announced by National Grid:

April 2 to April 27: York Road, road closure from the junction with St Peter’s Plain to Nelson Road Central.

Access will be retained for residents and some parking bays will be suspended as engineers work their way up the road. There will be temporary traffic lights at the junction of York Road and St Peter’s Plain and these will then later be moved to the junction of York Road and Nelson Road Central.

April 2 to May 25: Black Friars, temporary traffic lights will be moved from junction to junction as the work progresses; for two weeks towards the end of May there will be junction closures at the junction of Victoria Road and the junction of St Peter’s Plain.

End of April to November: South Quay, starting at Hall Place end and working towards Friars Lane, one lane closed in approximately 200 metre sections as engineers work down the road - two-way traffic maintained.

May 28 to June 22: Friars Lane, temporary traffic lights will move down the road as work progresses.

June 25 to March 8: King Street, from the junction of Friars Lane to Regent Road. Residential area – bottom section of King Street – to be carried out from 25 June to mid-September; retail area – mid and top section – mid-September to March.

Mid-September to early October: Market Gates - from the bus station to Temple Road; white line at traffic lights to be moved back to allow more space to work in the junction.

October to March: Middle Market Road and Princes Road. Work starts in Middle Market Road. A road closure is planned between the top of Middle Market Road and the junction of Nelson Road.

This will then be lifted and rolling temporary traffic lights will be installed along Princes Road as engineers work along the road.

October to March: Regent’s Road - October half-term arrangements to be reviewed closer to the time.

November 12 to December 21: Howard Street South and Row 78, road closures with access maintained for residents.

Continuing into 2013:

January 7 to January 25: Theatre Plain

January 28 to February 15: Two-week closure of King Street between the junction of Regent Street and Regent Road and two-week closure of Regent Street, between the junctions of King Street and Howard Street.

Diversion routes will be in place. Access will be retained for businesses.

February 18 to March 15: back of Marina Centre, across Marine Parade and up Trafalgar Road.

Closure of Trafalgar Road from Apsley Road to Marine Parade. Temporary traffic lights at the junction of Marine Parade and Trafalgar Road

March: Marine Parade, from York Road to St Peter’s Road. Junctions of York Road with Marine Parade and Lancaster Road with Marine Parade will be closed.

No access into York Road or Lancaster Road from Marine Parade. Parking in these roads won’t be affected.

Once the closures have been lifted there will then be temporary traffic lights at the junction of Marine Parade and St Peter’s Road.

End of March: crossing the junction of Regent Road and Marine Parade. Existing pelican crossing will be switched off and a temporary crossing set up.