MAJOR work to replace an ageing gas main in Ramsbottom will see road closures after a large underground hole was discovered by engineers.

Teams working for local gas network Cadent are resorting to a ‘plan B’ after they discovered the large void underneath Bolton Road West.

Engineers working on the road have had to see their progress stalled, as they cannot risk causing any escalation in the void.

The gas workers are preparing to start an alternative plan – completing their work over this weekend, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th.

This is set to involve digging a large trench across the carriageway, meaning the road must be closed for safety reasons.

Bolton Road West will be closed between Lansdowne Close and Dundee Lane / Nuttall Lane. Access will be maintained for residents, where possible.

The road should then be reinstated to good order by early next week.

Craig Horrocks, who heads up Cadent’s gas mains replacement programme in the North West, said: “This job is part a UK-wide programme to replace ageing gas mains.

“We had everything in place to complete the job within a few weeks and to keep traffic flowing, under traffic lights, around our work area.

“But in the very early stages we found this void under the surface and had to hold our activities while that was investigated by the council and United Utilities.

“We have now agreed an alternative plan to complete the gas main upgrade, which requires a full road closure over the weekend.

“We know that’s not ideal and hope people understand that we’re as keen as they are to get this job completed as quickly as we can, but safely.”

A spokesman for Bury Council said: "The unfortunate delay in completing these works was the result of a large void under the surface, which is not the fault of the gas team.

"They’ve had to reprogramme and redesign their own works around the repair and diversions works required by United Utilities. In order to complete connection safely the gas team needs to work in the opposite carriageway, and the work should be completed by Sunday evening.”

If any customers have further questions about this work in Ramsbottom, the customer team can be reached on 0800 121 4444.