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Traders relieved as gas works draw to a close
KNUTSFORD’S business owners will be able to sleep a little easier after National Grid told the Guardian it had finished its work on two of the town’s most important streets.
National Grid began the work in the town in April, and residents, traders and council officials were told back then it would take a year for the works to be completed.
The utility group is spending £3.1 million on renewing the gas mains, which will see 38 kilometres of old metal pipes replaced with new plastic ones expected to last for at least 80 years.
In the past two months the works have hit the town centre, causing Princess Street to be closed off in parts and diversions to be put in place around Canute Place.
Those works have now finished, and businesses told the Guardian they had been affected and were pleased it was all over.
Mercedes Grayson, who owns Orange Coffee House on Princess Street, said: “It’s had a massive effect, and has been pretty chaotic.
“Because the roads have been dug up people haven’t been coming into Knutsford.
“It’s been shocking the way they have handled it.
“They had signs in town saying Princess Street was closed, but it wasn’t, but they still had signs up so people thought it was closed.
“We had quite a lot of arguments with them about it.”
James Helgason, of Mannings Chemist, said: “We definitely lost business.
“There were people who couldn’t get down the street very easily and the staff told me it was quieter than normal.
“People go on about claiming about loss of business, but they make it so difficult it is not worth the bother.
“You have to provide evidence and that is hard work.”
Jeanette Unsworth, from National Grid, told the Guardian the works were now heading back to Manchester Road.
“Work has finished in Princess Street and Church Hill,” she said.
“The workmen will now be heading back out of town to Manchester Road and we’ve pretty much finished in the town centre.
“We are really grateful to the patience people have shown us, and businesses will now have a reliable, safe gas supply which will mean we won’t have to replace the mains for a very long time.”