We're planning to carry out essential network upgrades on and near to Kingsferry Bridge to ensure a safe and reliable supply of gas continues to be delivered to Isle of Sheppey homes and businesses.
Subject to obtaining a Compulsory Purchase Order, our work is expected to start in Autumn 2024 and will last approximately 18 months.
All our work will be carried out following close consultation with key affected stakeholders including private landowners, Swale Borough Council, National Highways, Port of Sheerness Limited, the Environment Agency and Network Rail.
What we'll be doing
Installing a new pipe
Our engineers will be installing a new plastic pipe beneath the River Swale, which will connect to the existing network on both the mainland and the island.
Removing our old pipe
We will then disconnect and remove our old metal gas main contained within the bridge's structure.
Monday 22 January
The Secretary of State has called a public inquiry to hear objections to the Compulsory Purchase Order we submitted relating to this project back in mid-October.
This inquiry will take place between Tuesday 30 April and Thursday 2 May. Details of the time and venue will be published here in due course.
In the meantime, we're continuing to proactively engage with objectors, but have submitted our Statement of Case.
Additional core documents relating to our project and Compulsory Purchase Order can be found in the Appendix section at the bottom of this page.
The existing main spanning Kingsferry Bridge provides the only gas supply to the Isle of Sheppey. It serves approximately 15,000 customers including schools, care homes, a hospital, prisons, extensive port facilities and multiple businesses.
The old pipe was installed in the late 1950s and is reaching the end of its useful life. To help reduce the risk of leaks and ensure a resilient gas supply to island properties, our engineers will be replacing this with a new, separate plastic pipe.
This replacement pipe will be installed beneath the River Swale and will connect to the existing network either side of the river. Once installed, Sheppey residents will be able to enjoy the benefits of a safe and reliable gas supply for decades to come.
Our proposed work at Kingsferry Bridge is scheduled to last approximately 18 months.
It will be split into four phases involving environmental mitigation activities, site setup and construction work.
Preparatory activities are expected to commence in Autumn 2024, with engineering work beginning in Spring 2025. This timeline is subject to obtaining the Compulsory Purchase Order, as outlined in the Latest news section of this page.
- Phase one - approximately four months:
We'll be undertaking environmental mitigation activities and installing protections ahead of our work to install the new pipe under the River Swale.
- Phase two - approximately two months:
We'll be installing contractor site and storage compounds, office and welfare facilities. This will be located along Ridham Dock Road on the mainland side of the River Swale.
- Phase three - approximately four months:
Our engineers will install the new plastic pipe and connect it to the existing network either side of the river.
- Phase four - approximately four months:
We'll then work to decommission and remove the redundant old pipe from within Kingsferry Bridge.
What work are you carrying out at Kingsferry Bridge?
We're working to install a new plastic gas pipe under the River Swale. This will ensure a continued safe and reliable gas supply to homes and businesses on the Isle of Sheppey for decades to come.
Once our new pipe is operational, we will decommission and remove the old metal gas main located within Kingsferry Bridge.
How long will the work last?
Our project at Kingsferry Bridge is scheduled to last 18 months. This includes time to prepare the site, the construction work for the new pipe and the required decommissioning of the redundant pipe.
Why are you carrying out this work now?
We've been planning this work for some time in close consultation with the local authority, Natural England and other key stakeholders.
While we understand there's no ideal time to carry out potentially disruptive works, we've repaired several leaks on this section of our network in recent months and it's nearing the end of its useful life. We must upgrade this section to ensure a safe and reliable supply of gas is distributed to Sheppey properties.
Can trains and vehicles access the island over Kingsferry Bridge while the work takes place?
Train services over Kingsferry Bridge should not be impacted by our project. However, please do check with Network Rail or our Latest news section of this page for any updates.
We don't expect to need to permanently shut any public roads to motorists while we carry out our work. For everyone's safety, our work will involve temporary traffic measures at times, but this will not affect travel to or from the island. Details of any road closures or temporary traffic lights around our site will be published in our Latest news section.
What is a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO)?
A CPO is a legal process allowing certain public and private bodies to acquire land, or interests in land, from affected owners or occupiers, without the consent of those affected parties, to deliver projects where there is a compelling case in public interest.
We made the Southern Gas Networks PLC (Kingsferry Gas Pipeline Replacement Project) Compulsory Purchase Order 2023 (CPO) on 12 October 2023.
The CPO documents relating to this project can be found below.
Will your work cause a significant impact on the local environment?
We recognise this area is of diverse ecological importance and is covered by several national and international designations.
We've been working closely with the local authority, the Environment Agency and Natural England as part of our plans for this project at Kingsferry Bridge. Through a screening process undertaken as part of the project proposal, the organisations are content with the measures we will take to minimise our environmental impact.
How deep will the new pipe be installed under the River Swale?
The new plastic pipe will be inserted at a depth of 17m below the riverbed.