MICKLEGATE Bar will be closed for access into York city centre for five weeks while gas works take place.

Northern Gas Networks (NGN) said it is carrying out critical work to "ensure the continued safe and reliable supply of gas to customers in the Micklegate area of York."

Ageing metal pipework is set to be replaced by new, more durable plastic pipes.

The work is expected to last for seven weeks. It has been planned in collaboration with City of York Council, to take place during the national lockdown when there is traffic.

So that engineers can carry out the work safely and efficiently, and to protect the public, traffic management measures will be put in place, NGN said.

From Monday (January 18) there will be four-way temporary traffic lights at the junction of Blossom Street, Micklegate, Queen Street and Nunnery Lane for the remainder of the project. The bus lanes and bus stops near the junction will not be affected.

And from January 25, there will also be a road closure at Micklegate Bar for access into York city centre. A diversion will be in place for five weeks so that motorists can avoid this closure. The diversion will take motorists along Queen Street and past the train station, allowing access at the other end of Micklegate. The cycle lane will remain open for cyclists coming out of York.

To ensure the safety of colleagues, customers and the community, the majority of the work is being carried out in the street, with extra safety precautions in place when engineers are working inside customer properties.

A spokesperson for NGN said: "NGN engineers wash their hands or use hand sanitiser thoroughly before entering a property; they maintain a two-metre distance and ask the householders to stay in another room while they work, and they wear a face mask and gloves. Engineers may also ask customers if they would feel comfortable wearing a face mask themselves during a home visit.

"Where customers are self-isolating, have symptoms or are at high clinical risk, NGN engineers will wear full PPE including coveralls, eye protection and shoe covers."

Russell Kaye, business operations lead for NGN, added: “We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused during these critical works. However, it is vital we complete them in order to continue to maintain a safe and reliable gas supply to the residents and businesses of Micklegate.

“NGN is continuing to carry out essential services while following strict Government guidelines for safe distance working and observing health and safety guidance during the current lockdown in England.

“We want to assure residents and road users that we will be working hard to complete this scheme as safely and as quickly as possible.”