May 22, 2022 6.00 am This story is over 24 months old

Forty-year-old gas main discovery delays £1.4m Stamford cobbles project

It was discovered by the site team

A forty-year-old shallow gas main has been discovered during works to replace the old cobbles in Stamford’s Red Lion Square, and it is likely to delay the completion of the £1.4 million project.

Lincolnshire County Council will keep, and update, the cobbled square despite the mayor of Stamford previously calling on the authority to instead use tarmac. Local residents had previously reacted in horror when the traditional paving setts were repacked with patches of tarmac in 2020.

The site team began the works but has since identified a shallow gas main on-site that may need to be diverted.

Karen Cassar, assistant director for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “While digging out the old cobbles in Red Lion Square earlier this week, the team came across a forty-year-old gas main that is much shallower than expected.

“According to National Joint Utilities Group guidelines, utility services should be at least 750mm underground, but the one we’ve come across is just 370mm from the surface – halfway above the minimum depth.

“Although there are always unknowns when carrying out major road works like these, this particular one is unfortunate since it will very likely delay completion of the scheme. However, we don’t know by how much at this stage.

“We’ll have a much clearer picture of how this will affect the project once we’ve spoken to Cadent Gas about what will be involved in lowering the shallow main and agreed a suitable timeframe for them to do the work.

“In the meantime, we’ll be doing everything we can to ensure our Red Lion Square improvement project is finished as expediently as possible with as little disruption as possible for the people and businesses of Stamford – including working to ensure local roads are fully clear ahead of and during the 2022 Burghley Horse Trials.

“We will be sure to keep residents and businesses in the loop as and when we have more information. Until then, I want to thank everyone for bearing with us.”

Red Lion Square in Stamford. | Photo: LCC

Two months of road closures started earlier this month and will run until mid-July.

There is a full southbound closure of Red Lion Square and St John’s Street.

There is a signed diversion route in place via A6121 West Street, A6121 North Street, A6121 East Street, A1175 Brazenose Lane, A1175 St Leonard’s Street, A1175 Wharf Road, B1081 St Mary’s Hill, B1081 St Mary’s Street, B1081 St John’s Street, Red Lion Square. Northbound traffic will remain unaffected

A full road closure of Red Lion Square and the western end of the High Street will be in place for up to three weeks during the scheme. However, dates and details are still being finalised and will be shared by the county council closer to the time.