WORK is continuing to move more than 550 metres of underground gas pipe to help bring the Metro to Dudley.

Teams working for gas network Cadent are diverting a large section of pipe in Netherton and Rowley Regis, which measures the equivalent length of about five full-sized football pitches.

The 180mm-diameter main is close to, and in some sections, directly under, the route of the 11km tram line extension to Dudley and Brierley Hill.

The work began on January 3 and is expected to take 14 weeks, with the gas supply remaining on throughout the work.

Mark Briggs from Cadent, said: “We operate and maintain essential gas infrastructure, relied on by millions of people in Dudley and the West Midlands to keep them warm in their homes.

“When major developments happen near our pipes, we need to make sure they’ll remain safe and accessible. So, to enable the new tram route, we’re moving around 550 metres of pipe.

“This is essential work, ensuring we can meet the year-round demand for gas to heat homes and other buildings, as well as for hot water and cooking.

“Our absolute priority with jobs like these is to get the work completed safely, while working with local businesses, residents and services – such as the local hospital in this case – to maintain access. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience while we complete this 14-week project.”

Engineers are working in the road, with temporary traffic lights in place on Gawne Lane and Powke Lane.