VIDEO: Anti-fracking protesters claim '˜thuggish' guards almost pushed them into the road

Anti-fracking protesters have claimed security guards at a Fylde drill site have behaved in a 'thuggish' manner.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 7:24 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 8:01 am
Protesters at Preston New Road
Protesters at Preston New Road

Residents and campaigners carried out another day of protest at the site off Preston New Road at Little Plumpton

On Friday they staged a slow walk in the road ahead of a truck working for gas exploration company Cuadrilla as it left the site.

In the latest incident they said security guards almost pushed them into the A583 as they stood in front of security fencing at the site.

Protesters at Preston New Road

Claire Stephenson, from the Preston New Road Action Group, said: “Lancashire residents will continue to exercise their rights to peaceful protest on a daily basis at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site for the foreseeable future.

“The violence protesters have been subjected to this morning has been taken seriously by the police. This thuggish behaviour is unacceptable and does not align with Cuadrilla’s so-called ‘community engagement’.”

But pro-fracking support group Backing Fracking blamed the activists for the scuffle.

A spokesman said: “This is just the beginning of the behaviour we can expect to see at this location and which we confidently predict will escalate to large-scale confrontations with police and security personnel, as witnessed previously at Barton Moss in Manchester and Balcome in Sussex, unless Lancashire police take a zero-tolerance approach.

Protesters at Preston New Road

“In the video, the protesters can clearly be seen standing in the safety lane created by traffic cones, with the flow of traffic controlled by temporary traffic lights and a 30mph speed restriction, but an off-camera protester can be heard making the false claim that the security guards are pushing them into the road and oncoming traffic.”

Police said they had received no official complaints but would continue to work closely with both parties.

A Cuadrilla spokesman said police had asked for the fencing and added: “There were some protesters who recklessly put themselves and other road users at risk by attempting to stop the fencing from being erected along our work area on the road as well as blocking truck delivery to the site. We ask that protesters to behave responsibly and don’t put themselves and others at risk.”