Traffic fears raised over new HGV route

Broughton is once again at the centre of controversy over traffic – but this time it’s over fears that local roads, including those around Woodplumpton, could become major fracking routes.

Wednesday, 4th February 2015, 8:00 am

Fracking firm Cuadrilla revealed a new route for its lorries to take through the Lancashire countryside last week and Lancashire County Council has now delayed its decision on whether to permit shale gas drilling for at least eight weeks for more consultations to take place.

One of Cuadrilla’s proposals to tackle objections to its plans to frack at Roseacre Wood near Elswick is to bring traffic in through Broughton and Woodplumpton.

Residents have been urged to study the plans carefully and comment before Lancashire County Council’s development control committee reconvenes to consider Cuadrilla’s applications.

The committee adjourned and postponed making its decision last Wednesday after Cuadrilla asked for time to address concerns raised about noise and traffic movement in and around its proposed sites at Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road, Little Plumpton.

Woodplumpton parish council clerk Julie Buttle said: “The proposals will have to be advertised so that the parish council and residents will have to chance to comment on the proposals. The parish council will make a collective decision on the proposals at its next meeting.”

Cuadrilla has said it is confident it can address councillors’ and residents’ concerns relating to both sites.

The gas exploration firm says in its letter to the parish council that its original plans were for a two-way traffic flow of HGVs running from Roseacre Wood south to the A583 junction at Clifton. Plannrers raised concerns about traffic movement through Wharles.

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.

Ms Buttle, who is also a Preston city councillor, said now that Cuadrilla’s applications had been deferred, the new proposed route would be in the public domain and consultation was needed.

Members of Lancashire County Council’s development control committee were told, after taking legal advice, that they had “no choice” but to postpone a planned three day hearing and a decision on Cuadrilla’s application.

Meanwhile Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw has again spoken out about local concerns over fracking. He told BBC’s Sunday Politics programme definitions of what constituted the local “community” to was still unclear: “The payback for Lancashire if this industry gets going, I do not believe is enough.” He added: “I’ve got electors in Bleasdale who do not have mains water and who take directly from the water table.

“I still haven’t been given any satisfactory answers on the quantity of water used and whether they will have water left.”