COMMUTERS in Christchurch are to face delays in the build up to Christmas as Stanpit is to be closed for seven weeks.

Gas distribution company SGN are to begin “essential gas mains replacement works” along a small section of Stanpit road between Purewell Close and Mudeford Lane from Monday November 2.

Although SGN say that the works will last for “approximately five weeks”, signs currently in place at Purewell roundabout say the work will last for seven weeks, finishing a week before Christmas Day.

Waseem Hanif, spokesperson for SGN, said: “We’re upgrading our gas network in Christchurch to ensure local homes and businesses continue to enjoy a safe and reliable gas supply for many years to come.

“In agreement with Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, we’ll start our project on Monday November 2 and it will last approximately five weeks.

“For everyone’s safety, Stanpit will be temporarily closed south of Purewell roundabout, between Purewell Close and Mudeford Lane. Signed diversions will be in place for motorists via Somerford Road, Sandown Road and Queen’s Road.

“During this project we’ll also be working in Palmerston Avenue and Pelham Close.

“We’ve got extra safety precautions in place to protect your community and our engineers, in line with government coronavirus guidance.”

The works in Stanpit are sperate from the ongoing closures on Bargates, as CityFibre aim to bring full fibre connectivity to Christchurch residents.

Plans for the SGN maintenance works were due to be carried out in the summer, however BCP Council decided to offset the works to November to minimise disruption for residents.

BCP Council spokesperson, said: “We understand SGN require this road closure in order to undertake essential gas mains replacement works. Initially they wanted to undertake the work during the peak summer period which we did not support due to the impact this would have on the area at that time.

“It is unfortunate that these works are following on so closely after the disruption their works have caused in Bargates. However, these should be far more limited in scale and impact.

“We have worked with SGN, and as a result the amount of days they require the road to be closed has been reduced. Whilst they have set out six weeks it is hoped they are being over cautious and will complete these essential works sooner.

“We would like to reassure residents and businesses that we will remain in close communication with SGN in the lead-up to the project and will continue to liaise with them to plan traffic management, helping to minimise any disruption while monitoring the work’s progress.”