§ Mr. George Craddock
asked the Minister of Power, in view of several recent deaths arising from fractured gas pipes and mains, if he will make a statement on the steps being taken to deal with this recurring problem.
§ Mr. Peyton
There are over 100,000 miles of gas mains and services in this country, varying widely in age and in the conditions in which they are laid. All Gas Boards keep a continuous watch on the system including, where practicable, regular surveys to detect leakages, followed by the replacement of pipes found to be faulty. New developments include the increasing use of pipes made from ductile iron. This is a new material which is more flexible, and hence less liable to fracture, than the cast iron from which most gas pipes have been made previously. Arrangements are being made to increase production of ductile iron pipes as quickly as possible. Flexible tee joints for service connections are already standard in all areas.