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National Grid have reassured Droitwich MP Peter Luff that the extensive three year programme of work to replace old gas mains in the town is on schedule and progressing well.

Peter met representatives of the company just off the Saltway at the mobile information caravan that has been used to inform local residents and business people in the Spa on Friday (10th). The MP had requested the meeting after complaints from local traders in the Tagwell Road and Worcester Road area that the works were having a devastating impact on their trade.

Commenting, Peter said,

“The traders have every right to be concerned, but I appreciate what National Grid has been doing. I have been told of their extensive communications programme informing local people of the works, the details of how the works are being conducted and the arrangements for compensation for small businesses.

“Sadly, the traders who are complaining do not appear to have received notification letters. I am clear, though, that National Grid went to great lengths to communicate their intentions successfully to the majority of those affected. I am also broadly happy with the progress of the works themselves. The company explained how they had been talking forward the works in the town since mid 2009 and that they were on schedule to complete them as they had planned. They also explained why periods when nothing was happening were inevitable, for example while the concrete being used cured, only after which could the surface be reinstated.

“There are still one or two local technical problems to resolve in the Hampton Road area in the Netherwich part of Droitwich and one road closure to put in place between the private hospital and Victoria Square. The vast bulk of the huge programme, though, will be completed by the end of next month, with the Worcester Road works due to complete by about 19th March. I will do all I can to hold National Grid to these dates.

“However, I remain very concerned about the adequacy of the compensation arrangements for businesses affected by gas main replacement. The rules are set down in legislation, I understand, and I will be looking again at the possibility of getting changes. Sadly, though, local businesses will have to make claims under the current, inadequate rules.”

Local people have also contacted Peter Luff to complain about the poor state in which roadside verges have been left after the gas works around Droitwich. Peter raised this with the company and they told him the work had not been forgotten and would be done when the weather was more suited to leveling earth and reseeding grass areas.

Peter said,

“If there are areas where pavements and verges are in a poor state after gas main work, I urge local people to let me know. I will pass on their concerns to National Grid to ensure that everything is put back to its original state before the company completes its work in the town.”


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