Answers needed over gas saga

Airbles Road
Airbles Road

Residents want to know what’s going on as gas bosses conceded emergency work in Motherwell’s Airbles Road will drag on for some days yet.

Traffic has been disrupted since the discovery of a gas leak 10 days ago.

SGN had planned to have the road re-opened last Wednesday, but this week Hannah Brett, spokesman for the gas network company, admitted: “While our work is progressing well, this has turned out to be a more complex repair than we initially anticipated.

“Our engineers are continuing to work extended hours and at weekends to complete this emergency work as quickly as possible. Repairs are likely to continue for the rest of the week.”

The company refused to go into detail about the work or say if there is a link to emergency gas pipe repairs carried out in the same area in January.

At that time there was alarm when residents heard a blast. However, SGN said that although a manhole cover had been “lifted off”, this wasn’t caused by a gas explosion.

One concerned resident told the Times this week: “Far from finishing the job last Wednesday, the company has made numerous more excavations, right down to digging holes on the roundabout at Leven Street,

“Locals fed up with the noise and disruption are asking if the diggers know what they are looking for.

“The latest hole in the road is in the same area where the explosion occurred in January. With this happening on a very busy arterial route and with school children and citizens constantly walking on the pavement past the diggings, it is making us all very nervous and alarmed. SGN should be giving us an explanation.”

When the latest emergency work began, Airbles Road Wishaw-bound was closed completely, leading to serious congestion in Motherwell town centre as drivers looked for alternative routes.

The road has since re-opened but is down to one lane each way which means drivers still face delays, especially at peak times.