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Rhiwbina gas pipe upgrade work

Posted on: 15/09/2017

Francis Kirk, Wales & West Utilities Programme Controller for South Wales said: 

“We continue to make good progress on our £2m gas pipe upgrade work in Rhiwbina which is essential to make sure that we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area and prepare the gas network for the future.

“We are now working to upgrade the old metal gas pipes in the Pantmawr Road area. Pantmawr Road is closed northbound from the A470 to the mini roundabout at the junction with Rhiwbina Hill. In addition, the road southbound along Rhiwbina Hill is closed to the junction of Heol Llanishen Fach. The closure will be in place from 28 August 2017 for approximately 10 weeks. A diversion route is clearly signposted.

“Our progress is as follows:

On Pantmawr Road (Team 1):  

  • Upgraded over 130m of old metal gas pipe to plastic from outside number 135 to outside number 157, and transferred homes between 157 and 177 Pantmawr Road from the old gas pipe to the upgraded one.
  • Next week we will be:
    • Transferring further homes from the old gas pipe to the new one,
    • Connecting the gas pipe on Caer Wenallt to the upgraded pipe on Pantmawr Road
    • Doing preparation and camera surveys ahead of upgrading the gas pipe on the lower section of Pantmawr Road.

On Rhiwbina Hill (Team 2):

  • Upgraded over 70m of old metal gas pipe to plastic from between junctions of Brooklyn Close and Pantmawr Road
  • Transferred homes from the old gas pipe to the upgraded one between 30 and 56 Rhiwbina Hill.
  • Next week we will be:
    • Connecting the gas pipe on Brooklyn Close to the upgraded pipe on Rhiwbina Hill
    • Transferring further homes from the old gas pipe to the upgraded one.

On Heol y Deri (Team 3):

  • Finished work to lay the new larger gas pipe that is essential to support the area in the future and transferred 12 homes from the old gas pipe to the new one between Heol Llanishen Fach and Heol Brynglas
  • Next week we will be:
    • Connecting the gas pipe on Fairbrook Close to the new pipe on Heol y Deri
    • Transferring homes on Y Goedwig from the old gas pipe to the new one.
    • By the end of next week the start of the one way system will be moved from the junction with Heol Llanishen Fach to the junction with Heol Brynglas.
    • For an additional week there will be traffic lights in place at the junction of Heol Llanishen Fach and Heol y Deri as we connect the upgraded pipe into the existing gas network but then that part of the road will be open to two way traffic as normal.  

“Additionally, we will be replacing the internal gas riser pipes in Lisnagarvey Court flats. Starting next week this should take 2 weeks to finish. As our work has progressed we are also starting to remove our operational compound in Cefn Graig. This should be finished in 3 weeks.

“Our working hours in the week are 8am – 5pm. Where appropriate this will be extended, while having consideration for nearby homes. We are working weekends throughout the project.  

“We know this work is disruptive. We’re monitoring traffic on a daily basis and, where necessary, changing our traffic management or working with Cardiff Council to change traffic light timings. We are also working with local councillors and South East Wales Trunk Road Agency to do what we can to minimise disruption. We have added additional advanced warning signage in the area, and visited local schools to make sure they are fully updated on our work.

“I would urge all road users to respect the one way system in place. We know traffic can be disruptive and frustrating, and a small minority of drivers are continuing to endanger the community, other road users and our colleagues by driving the wrong way up closed roads in the area. This is not acceptable. We are passing details of those drivers to the Police.

“As with any project of this size, we’re always reviewing our work and we’ll consider feedback from the local community and change our plans where appropriate. We are in the process of arranging another drop-in session. Our project team will be available to answer any questions you may have about our work. We will be writing to local people directly to invite them to this event – and posting the details on social media.

“We really appreciate the support of local residents as we make progress on this essential £2m investment to upgrade gas pipes in Rhiwbina.”

Frequently Asked Questions

We know local people have questions about our work. We’ve collated the most frequent and answered them below. 

Why don’t you reverse the one way system on Pantmawr Road so people can access the area from the A470? It would be much less disruptive that way?

Local people have told us they would prefer us to apply for a traffic order on Pantmawr Road to temporarily reverse the flow of traffic. We have considered this but decided against it because our experience in this area in the past shows that managing traffic into Rhiwbina can back up traffic onto the A470 and on to the M4. Working alongside the South East Wales Trunk Road Agency (SEWTRA) and Cardiff Council we must make sure there is no impact on strategic routes from our work. Additionally, reversing the flow of traffic brings a much higher level of risk associated with our work. It makes things like crossing the road and accessing driveways more difficult for local people while also impacting surrounding roads. 

I’ve heard you’re not reversing the traffic flow because it would take 12 weeks to apply for a road traffic order?

If reversing the traffic flow was the best and safest way to do this work without it having any impact on the M4 we would have applied for a road traffic order in a timely way to fit into our schedule.

Why are you doing this work now rather than in the summer holidays?

We try and plan our work as sensitively as possible, considering the needs of local residents, businesses and road users. In planning our work on Pantmawr Road, we had to consider:

  • The impact of our work on the seasonal trade of local businesses (including the summer period for some shops and the Christmas period for others);
  • Other infrastructure and highways work in the area;
  • Local community events and activities in Rhiwbina; and  
  • Major national and international events and activities in the City of Cardiff itself.

Taking all of these considerations into account and in agreement with Cardiff Council and SEWTRA, we planned work on Pantmawr Road for this period. 

How have you kept local people updated?

We are committed to keeping people updated. Ahead of our work starting in Rhiwbina we held a drop in session in September 2016. We let people know about our work by writing to more than 3200 local homes in Rhiwbina, inviting them to the drop in session where they could look at our plans and ask us any questions they had. We also sent a news release to local media and posted it on our website and social media.

In March 2017 we sent a newsletter to more than 3200 homes again, updating local people on progress and ahead of our programme of work through the spring. It also let them know how they could contact us if they had any questions or queries about our plans.

In early August 2017 we sent another newsletter to more than 3200 homes, updating local people again on our progress and giving further details on our work on Pantmawr Road and Rhiwbina Hill. This was accompanied by a news release sent to local media.

In late August 2017 we attended a surgery held by local Rhiwbina councillors, answering any questions local people may have. In conjunction with this we sent another letter – again to more than 3200 homes right across Rhiwbina, reminding people of the details of our work on Pantmawr Road and Rhiwbina Hill and answering some Frequently Asked Questions.

In September 2017, we will be holding another drop in session in Rhiwbina, where people can come and see our plans and our project team will be there to answer any questions they may have. We will write to people in the area directly to invite them to this, and promote it on social media.

In addition to our direct correspondence with people living in Rhiwbina, our operational team have been door knocking in the area, letting people know about our traffic management and then updating them on when we will be upgrading their individual gas supply pipes. Meanwhile, our Customer Service Team have been on hand to answer any queries people may have by phone, email or on social media.

On the roads, we have placed signage in Rhiwbina, while electronic signage on roads leading to Rhiwbina gives them information on work in Pantmawr Road. 

Will the bin men still be able to collect the rubbish?

Yes. We have liaised with Cardiff County Council to make arrangements to make sure refuse collection can continue while we are working.

Will the emergency services be able to get through?

Yes. Access will be maintained at all times for the emergency services – and they have been kept informed of our plans.

Will the buses be affected?

We are working with Cardiff Bus to maintain the bus routes. Cardiff Bus will keep passengers updated via their website, social media and notices on bus stops. Any queries on changes to bus routes should be directed to them,

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