Fracking firm wants new route for HGVs - through Broughton crossroads and Woodplumpton

Longridge Against Fracking at  the demonstration.
Longridge Against Fracking at the demonstration.

Fracking firm Cuadrilla has revealed a new route for lorries - through the already congested and controversial Broughton crossroads - leading to a decision on shale gas drilling being delayed for at least eight weeks.

It emerged last week that one of the proposals to tackle objections to its plans to frack at Roseacre Wood near Elswick by Cuadrilla is to bring traffic in through Broughton and Woodplumpton.

Residents and parish councils have now been urged to study the plans carefully and comment before the county’s development control committee reconvenes to consider Cuadrilla’s applications.

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

Eight members of the Longridge Against Fracking team joined hundreds of others outside county hall in Preston on Wednesday to protest against potential fracking, a team spokesperson saying they wanted to show the council “there is no social licence for fracking on the Fylde”.

Committee members were told after taking legal advice they had “no choice” but to postpone a decision after “substantial” new information - which should be considered and consulted on - had come to light.

Cuadrilla has said it is confident it can address concerns relating to both sites and instead of a planned two-way traffic flow of HGVs running from Roseacre Wood south to the A583 junction at Clifton - which raised concerns about traffic movement through Wharles - the company has now gained permission from the government to traverse the former HMS Inskip site. 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.

Prior to last week’s meeting, development control committee members had been advised by officers to refuse Cuadrilla’s plans for both sites, citing noise and traffic concerns as the reasons.

The Longridge spokesperson said: “It will be at least eight weeks before the committee meets again. When they do we will all gather outside county hall again. Probably in greater numbers, as more and more people become aware of the threat we are facing,” adding that members would be happy to help and support those opposing the “new, supposedly improved solution” for the HGVs through the rural villages.