EMERGENCY gas repairs in Botley Road which have caused delays for a week have been completed.

SGN said it is now tarmacking the road and that it could be fully reopened on Friday.

Earlier yesterday afternoon, it said it did not know how long the work would take.

A statement on the SGN website says: “Once again, we'd like to apologise to local residents and road users for the disruption caused, and thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we carried out these essential repairs.”

The company was criticised this week after it claimed it was working for 24 hours a day to fix up to four gas leaks – but at 8.30pm on Tuesday no workmen could be found in Botley Road.

SGN said the cast iron pipes fixed this week will eventually be replaced with plastic ones as part of a replacement programme some time over the next 15 years. 

Susanna Pressel, who represents Jericho and Osney on the city and county councils, said: "Several people have told me that at times there is little or no work going on. I’m told that this is sometimes because the repairs they had carried out needed to vent, to ensure any gas hanging around within the excavation was properly dispersed."

She added: "It’s very annoying to think that they will have to come back at some stage and dig up the whole road again, in order to replace the leaky old pipes with brand new ones.”