Motorists and shoppers in Birmingham city centre face months of major disruption when roads are closed to enable gas and water main renewal works to be completed.

Utility companies National Grid and Severn Trent Water are joining forces on a major programme of work in Birmingham City Centre to replace old gas mains running along Temple Street. Work to install new hard-wearing plastics pipes in a £300,000 project begins today.

The work is expected to take around eight weeks to complete. From there, the work will cross New Street and into Lower Temple Street for a further six weeks.

As gas engineers move into New Street, Severn Trent Water will start work in Temple Street in May. They will be investing more than £60,000 replacing water pipes in the area. Many of the pipes are over 100 years old and have become prone to leaks and bursts, causing major inconvenience to customers. Their work will help to prevent this and protect the water supply for many decades to come.

Temple Street and Lower Temple Street will be closed to traffic.

National Grid project manager, Chris Ashmore, said: “This project is a major investment in the safety and reliability of the city’s gas supply and will be a short term inconvenience for a long term benefit.

“We appreciate that people don’t like roadworks and there is never a good time to close a road in a city centre but we have worked very closely with Severn Trent and the city council to co-ordinate our projects which will help to keep disruption to minimum.”

Severn Trent Water’s asset manager Nick O’Hara added: “I’d like to thank the businesses and residents in the area for their patience and understanding as we carry out our essential work, and apologise for any inconvenience it may cause. The work has been brought forward to coincide with the work being carried out by National Grid. Working together in this way will help to ensure we minimise the impact on our customers, residents, business owners and motorists in the area.”