Scotia Gas Networks

Your friendly gas supplier

 I spotted this on Cobham High Street the other day. It seems so friendly and innocuous, doesn’t it? “I’m sorry we’re about to dig up the roads again”, it is saying, “but don’t worry, dear friends because at the end of the day you are going to get a top of the range modern gas main that will make all your lives warm and lovely.”

Except of course that isn’t the reason the roads are being dug up. If you ring the number you will find you are connected to the Scotia Gas Networks company, where a recorded message directs you to their web site, here: http://www.sgn.co.uk/index.aspx?rightColHeader=9&rightColContent=15&rightColFooter=237&id=6251&TierSlicer1_TSMenuTargetID=70&TierSlicer1_TSMenuTargetType=1&TierSlicer1_TSMenuID=6

Had SGN decided to be entirely honest and straightforward, this is what the notice would have said.

“Dear Cobhamites. We are going to dig up the road because we want to make sure there is a proper gas supply to the new M25 service station, where all the shops and hotels will be spending lots of money on our gas. Ker-ching. Yes we could probably have done this work during the school summer holidays when there is less traffic on the roads, but doing it now makes the best commercial sense to us. So you just sit there in long queues of traffic as you try to get your kids to school, or walk past breathing in the fumes. Because we could not care less. And no, we didn’t bother to consult with your councillors, MP, or local community groups before planning this work, because we don’t have to. And time is money, right? All we need to do is tell some Surrey County Council pen-pusher what we’re planning on doing. He probably can’t find Cobham on a map, let alone know what it’s like to live here with main roads being disrupted. And even if by chance said bureaucrat had any points to make we don’t have to pay any attention if we don’t want to.”

“Oh, and while we’re on the subject, the sparks and the drains people will be digging roads up round here on and off from now till June. All this for a service station that hardly anyone in the area wants.  Enjoy.”

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Scotia Gas Networks

  1. David Tipping

    Hi James,

    I would like to thank you for coming out with the truth as one of our Councillors for the Cobham Fairmile Ward. It seems that so often local Councillors are not very good at coming forward. We are being sold down the river, big brother the Utility Services, who have no feelings for the community. All they see is more amd more profit and in this case from the owners of the dreaded M25 Motorway Service Station which at present they have the cheek to call The Cobham Service Station. The only one in favour was John Prescott MP who gave the authority for the development on 60 acres of Green Belt Land. So lets call it Prescotts Bottom. This scheme, the untility works, is one of the biggest disasters to hit the south, and what a waist of money spending £75 million on something we have managed to live without for over 25 yrs.

    Station, god forbid!! It should be called Prescots Bottom, after all he was the only one in favour, and after 15yrs of planning, and not listening to the people agrred to its building

    • jamesbrowne

      I don’t normally get cross but I was absolutely infuriated by the suggestion that these works are being done for our benefit. I had a chat with Dominic Raab about this yesterday & he thinks Surrey CC actually could impose some conditions on this work and it may be that that is the best route by which the impact could be minimised.

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