AGEING gas mains are being pulled up today, starting at least nine weeks of road disruption.

Cadent Gas has announced that today work will begin in the road to update the old iron gas main, replacing it in time for winter with a plastic alternative that will last into the next century. But the works will see disruption in Winter Hey Lane, a key route through the centre of Horwich that connects Chorley Old Road and Chorley New Road.

For the first two weeks, engineers will be working at the junction of Winter Hey Lane and Chorley New Road. They will then work their way up Winter Hey Lane towards Wright Street, replacing the gas main and gas service pipes — pipes that lead from the main in the road to individual homes and businesses. During the project, drivers will not be able to turn into Winter Hey Lane from Chorley New Road and in the first two weeks, the existing traffic light sequencing at the junction of Winter Hey Lane and Chorley New Road will be changed to allow traffic to flow.

For the remaining seven weeks of the project there will be no access to some side streets from Winter Hey Lane as engineers work up the road towards Wright Street.

Nearly 85 per cent of Bolton homes rely on gas for heating and the new plastic pipes will last at least 80 years, according to Cadent Gas.

Craig Horrocks, head of Cadent’s North West mains replacement programme, said: “This is vital work to future-proof our gas mains so customers in Bolton can continue to enjoy safe and reliable gas supplies for heating their homes."