MOTORISTS are being warned to expect delays and traffic queues when six weeks worth of gas works start next week.

A lane closure will be put in place along a section of Columbia Road, preventing any drivers from entering from the Kinson Road direction. They will be directed along to Wallisdown Road and Boundary Road while buses will be diverted along Kingswell Road.

The lane closure will run from the Priestly Road junction to Kinson Road and part of Priestly Road will also be closed to through traffic.

Motorists travelling westbound from Redhill will be unaffected by the closure. The closures will start on Monday and be in place while Southern Gas Networks (SGN) replace the existing metal gas mains and services with a modern plastic pipe.

Julianne Gray, of Identity hair salon, along the affected stretch of the road said: “It’s not ideal as January and February are fairly quiet months and any reduction in passing trade will pose a bit of a problem.

“But it’s essential work so there’s nothing we can do about it. We would just like to let our customers know we will still trade as normal.”

Cllr Susan Phillips, who represents Wallisdown and Winton West, said: “I’m pleased that Southern Gas Networks are investing in the network as that will make it more robust for residents in the future.

“The diversion arrange-ments seem quite sensible. It’s just a case of being patient and accepting there is a long-term benefit from this work.”

SGN construction manager Garry Percival said: “I would like to apologise for any inconvenience that may be caused. The new plastic pipe has a minimum lifespan of 80 years, which means that when the work is complete, people will continue to enjoy the benefits of a safe and secure gas supply for years to come.”