Gas company tells residents in March not to worry amid traffic chaos caused by ‘seven gas leaks’ underneath Broad Street
- Credit: Harry Rutter/ARCHANT
A gas company carrying out emergency repair works in March town centre told residents “please don’t worry”.
Broad Street has been closed in one direction since Wednesday, October 9 after a strong smell of gas was reported in the Fenland town.
Gas company Cadent were brought in to carry out the works and no disruption to traffic was originally planned.
However, upon further inspection, workers came across the fault and decided it would much safer to close off half of the road while they dug it up.
A spokesman for Cadent, which manages all of the gas mains under Cambridgeshire, told said the work could be completed within a couple of days.
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He said: "We've found a number of small leaks on the gas main that runs underneath the road surface.
"Please don't worry - the gas is not at levels to present a risk to safety, nor do we currently see any risk to anyone losing their gas supply. However, the main needs to be fixed.
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"Until yesterday (Wednesday) we were able to keep a safe enough gap for vehicles to pass by our work area.
"But we have needed to encroach further into the road, which means we can no longer keep that safe distance.
"This unfortunately means we have had to close part of Broad Street to vehicles travelling in one direction."
The closures caused chaos for commuters in the town this morning and gridlocked traffic backed up from March Railway Station all the way to the town centre.
Those wanting to access the other side of town were forced to join the queue and travel via the March bypass in order to reach their destination.
Dan Smethurst of Shooters American Diner said: "The diner was dead as no one could get into town and we couldn't do deliveries as the traffic was so bad.
"We ended up closing early at 8pm. I spoke to one of the gas engineers and he said he had no idea how long it was going to take as they had found seven leaks."
The spokesman added: "We hope people understand this is necessary to ensure everyone's safety.
"Our teams are today carrying out tests on the main to confirm that everything is back to safe order.
"We have teams on standby ready to come in and reinstate, then reopen the road, once we are sure it's all fixed.
"We really do appreciate everyone's patience and understanding while we carry out this work.
"All shops and businesses remain open and can be accessed safely by foot."