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Progress with the Iron Mains Replacement Programme 2005 - 2006

  1. Under the Pipelines Safety Regulations 1996, regulation 13A, HSE approved annual replacement programmes for the year 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006 for the Distribution Networks (DNs) shown in Table 1. The progress in meeting the national and individual network targets is given.
  2. Nationally 3288 km of iron mains were decommissioned against an annual approved target of 3286 km (which included a 34 km shortfall from 2004 - 5).
  3. HSE is satisfied the DNs met their approved programmes for 2005 - 2006 and nationally HSE's enforcement policy for the replacement of iron gas mains is being met. 
  4. As part of its monitoring strategy and 5 year intervention plans for the DNs, HSE continues to carry out mains replacement audits to check that mains are decommissioned in accordance with the policies and procedures in the DNs' Gas Safety (Management) Regulations 1996 safety cases. 
  5. HSE has approved programmes for the Distribution Networks for the period 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007.

Table 1 - Mains replacement performance 2005 - 6 by Distribution Network

Network Network operator Target (km) Actual (km)
All networks   3286 3288
Scotland Scotland Gas Networks plc 250 250
North of England Northern Gas Networks Limited 482 482
South of England Southern Gas Networks plc 497 497
Wales & West Wales & West Utilities Limited 333 334
North West National Grid Gas plc (NGG plc) 469 1724 466 1724
East of England 634.5 640
West Midlands 330 336
London 290.5 282


During the year, HSE agreed revised targets with National Grid Gas plc for the London and East of England Networks to overcome operational difficulties in London. Whilst National Grid's overall target remained the same, the target for London was revised from 310.5 km to 290.5 km and the target for East of England was revised from 614.5 km to 634.5 km. HSE agreed the revision following a demonstration that an equivalent amount of risk would be removed from the networks and that risk profiles in each of the networks were comparable.