Long-running gas repair at Huntingdon’s iron bridge complete but work on Lidl car park continues

The road was originally scheduled to be closed for eight weeks.

The road was originally scheduled to be closed for eight weeks. - Credit: Archant

Repairs to a gas main which prompted anger over to the closure of a key road in Huntingdon throughout the summer have now been completed.

Gas firm Cadent reopened the Stukeley Road-St Peter’s Road junction in the early hours of Monday morning, just outside the target date it had set itself.

Some work, under the iron bridge remains to be finished, including restoration of part of Lidl’s car park, but is not expected to require any further closures.

Stukeley Road is a key road through the town and the closure meant a major diversion for traffic, leaving some businesses on the wrong side of the barricades for months.

The time it has taken to repair the pipe angered business leader John Bridge, chief executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, which represents local firms.

Mr Bridge, who lives in the area and uses Stukeley Road regularly, welcomed the reopening of the route, but felt Cadent had let people and businesses down with the time it had taken to carry out the repair at a time when the economy was being relaunched over the coronavirus crisis.

“I still do not think they were taking it seriously enough to get the work finished as quickly as it might have been,” Mr Bridge said.

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A spokesman for Cadent said: “The closure was lifted at approximately 1am on Monday (September 21).

“Remaining work, including at the Lidl car park, is expected to be completed later this week, and should not require any traffic management or road closures.”

A problem with a gas pipe was discovered in June and this was awkwardly placed under the iron bridge, which carries the East Coast Main Line railway, and one of the town’s main accesses along Stukeley Road.

The junction was originally closed for eight weeks and a diversion was set up along St Peter’s Road and the northern bypass - but the repairs were not finished in the time and the closure was extended.

At the time the Cadent spokesman explained that the repair was more complex than originally expected and involved heavy materials, drilling and welding.

He said workers were operating from four separate site which meant it sometimes looked as if nothing was happening, which was not the case.