Businesses fear disruption as Clifford Lane road closure set to begin

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A five-week closure of Clifford Lane near Clifford Chambers is set to begin today as essential work to replace an aging underground gas main gets underway.

The decision to close the road has angered some local businesses, who have criticised the long diversion route put in place and the length of time Clifford Lane will be out of action.

They say the closure is another difficult hurdle as they try to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

However gas company Cadent has stressed how essential the work is, with the gas main helping to heat thousands of homes in Stratford and south of the town.

The pipe runs directly across the road and will be replaced with a more durable plastic pipe.

According to a resident, workmen have said the closure is expected to begin at 12 noon today.

“We know this is far from ideal, but this work has to happen, to ensure we can deliver the gas relied on by thousands of customers to heat their homes,” said Craig Horrocks, from Cadent, who manages the gas mains replacement programme in the area.

“We can’t leave this any longer. The pipe is in a very bad condition. If it fails, many thousands of customers would lose their source of heating, just as the colder months of the year are upon us.

“The pipe runs across Clifford Lane, underneath it, so it has to be closed to carry out the work.

“What we don’t know yet is exactly how long the closure will last. We have said up to five weeks and are still working towards that.

“However, getting on-site, working in the fields now and in the road from Friday [16th Oct], will give us the essential, in-situ information we need to confirm the duration.

“We held a meeting (online, 23 September) with dozens of business owners and councillors, and have had many discussions before and since.

“We completely understand the disruption this will cause and are working hard to lessen the impact on the local community.”

Essential work is under way to replace a section of ageing, underground gas mains that help to heat thousands of homes in Stratford-upon-Avon and a wide area south of the town.