Billington Road showing damage caused by sand traffic 1917-18 [Hi/CRM/1/3/3]
Thursday 21st February 1918: At the annual meeting of the Leighton Buzzard Gas Company, held yesterday at the Gasworks, it was reported that extensive repairs to both pipes and equipment will need to be made this year. The heavy tractors used for sand traffic in the town have caused considerable damage to the mains and service pipes, increasing the amount of gas lost during the year to around two million cubic feet, valued at £250. Due to the expected cost of repairs the Directors had already increased the price of gas by four pence per 1,000 cubic feet with effect from January 1st.
The Company hopes that the authorities will decide to build a tramway or light railway for the sand traffic before much more damage is done to the roads and the gas mains. It has also become necessary to increase capacity at the gasworks as demand continues to increase, both for industry – especially the munition works – and for eating and cooking. This is not proving easy due to wartime conditions, and it is hoped that permission will be granted to build a water gas plant in the summer in order to meet expected demand for next winter.
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 26th February 1918