Lancashire village’s fightback against fracking lorry plans

BROUGHTON residents have launched a fight against plans of fracking firm Cuadrilla to run 25 HGVs a day through the village’s crossroads.
The lorry that broke down at Broughton cross roads.The lorry that broke down at Broughton cross roads.
The lorry that broke down at Broughton cross roads.

One of the proposals to tackle objections to Cuadrilla’s plans to extract shale gas at Roseacre Wood near Elswick is to bring traffic in through Broughton and Woodplumpton instead.

But Broughton residents have labelled it a “ludicrous idea”, and want locals to attend a meeting at the Broughton Inn tonight at 7pm to discuss the matter.

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Objector Mike Cotton said: “Cuadrilla want to bring 25 lorries off the M55 and through the crossroads every day.

“These six-axle vehicles are too large to turn left in the left hand lane, they would have to be in the right hand lane instead, breaking all the rules of the Highway Code.

“The traffic would back up in the area even more, affecting anyone travelling between Preston and Garstang and also Preston and Longridge.

“The roads going to Roseacre are also very narrow – I don’t think you could get two lorries of that size side by side.”

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He added: “The whole idea is ludicrous, but not a lot of people have heard about it.

“We want people to come to this meeting and discuss their concerns to put to Lancashire County Council before they hold a meeting later this month.

“It’s important that people attend because sometimes ludicrous ideas go through because people don’t shout loud enough.”

The gas exploration firm has said its original plans were for a two-way traffic flow of HGVs running from Roseacre Wood south to the A583 junction at Clifton. However, planners raised concerns about traffic movement through Wharles.

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The company said it had since been working with the Ministry of Defence, which owns the former HMS Inskip site. It had now obtained agreement from the Secretary of State for Defence allowing it to traverse the site, thereby removing nearly all HGV movements running through the village of Wharles.

The alternate route for HGVs inbound to the site would be from Junction 1 of the M55 and along the B5269 via the A6.

The outgoing traffic would go from Roseacre Wood south to the A583 at Clifton.

Cuadrilla has sent letters explaining the proposal to residents, and insist it is not its preferred route.

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It also points out that 25 lorries (50 two-way movements) an day would be the peak rate, and that the average HGV movements generated by the site would decrease to nine per day over the initial 28 month drilling and hydraulic fracturing period.

A spokesman for Cuadrilla said: “We believe that either of the two routes, if managed in accordance with the approach and measures set out in the traffic management plans (TMPs), would not have any significant impacts on the rural highway network and existing road users.

“Through the safety audit, the findings of which are set out within the TMPs, it has also been demonstrated that there are no overall reduction in highway safety from HGVs using either of the route.”

Representations on the issue need to be made to Lancashire County Council by Friday, April 24 via\planningregister or by letter to Development Management Group, Lancashire County Council, PO Box 100, County Hall, Preston, PR1 0LD.