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Engineers from Northern Gas Networks responded to a reported gas escape on a 14” diameter gas main in Percy Street, Newcastle city centre, at 3pm yesterday (25 September).

Engineers have been working around the clock to locate the source of the leak and repair the main as quickly as possible.

In order to carry out the repair work safely and efficiently it has been necessary to close Percy Street from the junction with Gallowgate to the junction with St Thomas Street, with one lane expected to reopen tomorrow morning.

A clearly marked diversion route is in place for motorists – outbound traffic is being diverted via St Thomas Street and city bound traffic via Queen Victoria Road, Gallowgate and Strawberry Place.

Access will be maintained for pedestrians and all shops and business will remain open as usual with access for deliveries maintained.

All car parks will remain open as usual, however access to Eldon Square car park, Percy Street, will be via a signed diversion.  Buses will operate as usual however the bus stop outside of The Magic Box will remain closed. People are asked to travel from the nearest bus stop.

Nigel Chambers, Site Manager, Northern Gas Networks, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused while we carry out this essential work. The safety of members of the public is our number one priority and we will be working through the night to repair the gas main and return the road to normal as soon as possible. One lane is expected to reopen to traffic tomorrow morning (Saturday 27 September) and temporary traffic lights will be in place to manage the safe flow of traffic.

“Our Customer Care Officers have been speaking to business owners in the vicinity to make them aware of the situation.   For more information please contact our Customer Care team on 0845 634 0508 or speak to one of our engineers on site.”

If you smell gas or suspect carbon monoxide, please call the National Gas Emergency number on 0800 111 999. This contact number is in operation 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.