RESIDENTS face six weeks of disruption while a gas pipe under one of the town’s busiest roads is replaced.

Gas network Cadent is due to begin work upgrading the ageing metal pipe, under Crompton Way, from next Monday.

The six-week project will affect the stretch of Compton Way between Tonge Moor Road and Kentfield Drive.

From Monday there will be no left turn from Tonge Moor Road into Crompton Way for two weeks.

And one lane will be permanently closed on Crompton Way between Tonge Moor Road and Kentfield Drive, heading towards Astley Bridge, for about six weeks.

Cadent has said access to all facilities in the area affected will be maintained throughout the six-week period.

News of the work has sparked fears of long tailbacks among motorists.

Astley Bridge ward councillor Paul Wild said: “I’m sure it will mean more traffic which isn’t good. But obviously if the pipe is not up to the job it’s important it’s sorted out. I’m not happy about any increase in traffic on Blackburn Road, but we will just have to do the best we can."

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Steve Murray, of Cadent, said: “We’re upgrading ageing metal gas pipes with hard-wearing plastic ones, so that we can continue to keep energy flowing to homes and businesses, for cooking and heating.

“The only way we can do this work is to excavate in the road, which does means some inconvenience – for which we can only apologise.

“I hope people understand that this is essential work, with long-term, lasting benefits.”