RESIDENTS and drivers have been thanked for their patience following a gas leak in Middlewich.

Homes and businesses including Starbucks, Shell garage and Hero Renewables were evacuated yesterday after the alarm was raised shortly after 9.30am.

The A54 was closed and a safety cordon was put in place restricting access to other roads.

Cadent Gas engineers repaired the leak, caused by a third party, and the road reopened at around 3.30pm.

A spokesman for Cadent Gas said today: "The team did a great job yesterday in stopping the leak and carrying out a permanent repair, within hours of the incident first happening.

"The road reopened around 3.30pm. That’s a great achievement and they ensured no-one lost gas supply as they did it.

Winsford Guardian:

Firefighters and the police worked with various agencies to deal with the gas leak Picture: Hero Renewables

"There was clearly disruption as the emergency services, with everyone’s safety in mind , put in place a safety cordon that restricted access to local roads and led to the evacuation of some properties.

"We are very grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding, as well as the support of other agencies, as we got this job completed.

As ever with incidents like these, it was crucial that we got a quick notification – if anyone ever smells gas, or suspects damage has been caused to a pipe like this, they should ring the national gas emergency service on 0800 111 999* immediately.

The gas leak occurred at the corner of Aston Way and Holmes Chapel Road.

*Calls to that number are recorded and may be monitored.