Road closed after protesters stage demo as fracking starts in Lancashire

Protesters at the Preston New Road site
Protesters at the Preston New Road site
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Police closed the main A583 between Preston and Blackpool at rush hour this morning as protestors staged a demonstration on the first day of fracking.

A larger than normal crowd gathered outside the fracking site on Preston New Road near Little Plumpton.

Traffic was diverted around the closed section from Westby Road to Whitehill Road.

Gas exploration company Cuadrilla had planned to start fracking on Saturday after a legal bid to stall the operation on safety grounds was thrown out by the High Court on Friday.

But bad weather, caused by Storm Callum, prevented the work. The firm was expected to begin fracking, to release shale gas, at around 8am today.