Three Lancs councillors join 13-person anti-fracking lock-on protest at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site

170703 pnr Kirsten Buus for Reclaim the Power

Preston New Road, 3 July 2017. Photo: Kristian Buus for Reclaim the Power

Three women councillors from Lancashire are taking part in a lock-on protest against operations at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool.

Along with 10 other Lancashire residents, they locked themselves to heavy objects at 3am at the Preston New Road site.

The protest is designed to stop vehicles entering the site where opponents expect the drilling rig will be delivered soon.

170703 pnr Kirsten Buus for Reclaim tthe POwer

Protest at Preston New Road, 3 July 2017. Photo: Kristian Buus for Reclaim the Power

People opposed to Cuadrilla’s proposals have protested outside the site since work began in January. The company’s plans were refused permission by Lancashire County Council just over two years ago. But the Communities’ Secretary, Sajid Javid, gave the go-ahead to the scheme, following the recommendation of a planning inspector at a public inquiry.

170703 pnr Gina Dowding Kirsten Buss for Reclaim the POwer

County Councillor Gina Dowding at Preston New Road, 3 July 2017. Photo: Kristian Buus for Reclaim the Power

Lancashire County Councillor Gina Dowding, one of the councillors taking part in today’s protest (above), said:

“It’s abundantly clear that when it comes to fracking, local councils have been rendered weak and helpless. I feel I need to be here with the community to say that we won’t roll over and accept this. We are putting our bodies on the line because our voices haven’t been heard.”

170703 pnr Julie Brickles Kirsten Buus for Reclaim the Power

Fylde Borough Councillor, Julie Brickles. Photo: Kristian Buus for Reclaim the Power

Fylde Borough Councillor for Warton and Westby, Julie Brickles, (above) said:

“I’m sometimes called the anti-fracking councillor. I strongly disagree with this: I’m the pro-community councillor and Westby is my community. Residents are rightly scared and we have now run out of options.”

170703 pnr Miranda Cox Kirsten Buus for Reclaim the Power

Kirkham Town Councillor Miranda Cox. Photo: Kristian Buus for Reclaim the Power

Kirkham Town Councillor, Miranda Cox , (above) said:

“When your community and family is threatened, you are often left with little choice but to take direct action. As a councillor and member of this community, I have been left with no more alternatives.

“I feel our way of life locally is under attack by an industry that, backed by a distant central government, is seeking to turn Fylde and Lancashire into the largest gas field in Europe. I cannot stand by and allow this mass industrialisation to happen.”

170703 pnr Nick Dandby Kirsten Buus for Reclaim the POwer

Inskip resident Nick Danby. Photo: Kristian Buus for Reclaim the Power

Retired civil servant, Nick Danby, who lives in Inskip, (above) said:

“I believe that the imposition of fracking on our communities is unfair and unjust and it makes a mockery of local democracy. I have never been inside a courtroom before but, having exhausted all other legitimate means of resistance, I now feel that I have no choice but to continue my protest in the only way left available to me.”

Today’s protest is part of what has been called a “Rolling Resistance” month of action by Reclaim the Power, a UK-based network opposed to fracking.

At 9.20am, Lancashire Police posted on Twitter:

“A583 Preston New Road – Please be aware the is a contraflow in place due to campaigners “locked on” at the entrance to the Fracking site. Temporary traffic lights have been implemented and short delays are expected throughout the day.”


Lancashire Police said Gina Dowing, of Lancaster, Nicholas Danby, Miranda Cox and Julie Brickles, of Preston, Nicholas Sheldrick, from Blackpool, Catherine Jackson, from Fleetwood, Daniel Huxley-Blythe and Jeanette Porter of St Annes, and Barbara Cookson, of Liverpool, were charged with obstructing a public highway and offences under Section 241 of the Trades Union and Labour Relations Consolidation Act.

DrillOrDrop invited Cuadrilla to respond to the protest. This post will be updated with any further developments and comments.

48 replies »

  1. Ian Crane has just alerted me that the drilling rig is only a few miles from the PNR location. Should be fun and games in the moring if he is right. He will no doubt be bust with the Third Energy frack job which has been submitted to the EA. Lots happening, exciting times ahead…..

    Is he inciting people to break the law?

    • Looks like this conductor rig is finished too?

      Not the biggest, but the funniest conductor perhaps?

      • Getting back to the subject, if that is not too much trouble? Which, by the way, is:

        “Three Lancs councillors join 13-person anti-fracking lock-on protest at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site

        a message fot the councillors and everyone else who protests at this invasion:

        “Protest and persist: giving up hope is not an option.”

        “The true impact of activism may not be felt for a generation. That alone is reason to fight, rather than surrender to despair.”

        Rebecca Solnit

  2. Oh dear !!! 2.3 on Richter Scale is akin to a LARGE LORRY passing your front door! At Balcombe the train’s passing Cuadrilla site made more seismic activity than the drill going into the ground! Please get in REAL WORLD! This scaremongering rubbish is put up on D or D without ever knowing the actual facts!

    • [Edited by moderator] Some fascinating aspects about the Richter scale for you to bore your friends with.
      The Richter scale increases by orders of magnitude, ie exponentially, also a surface quake is just in the top 1 or 3 metres, and is caused by the bow wave effect, or the vehicle crosses a manhole. The weaker the geological formation, the greater the shake.
      A deep quake is, as we are continually told, from deep down 1.5 – 2 km down. In order for a quake to reach the surface measuring 2 – 3 on the Richter scale and measured only at the surface, what was the magnitude 2- 3 km down? Answer? We have no idea, but it is a lot greater magnitude than as measured at the surface.
      Consider what a quake will do at various geological strata, at various depths, and in various formations of soils at or near the surface?
      Depending upon the formation and the structure, it will react differently to the quake, rock might transmit the quake directly into a structure, or into a soil layer, or into an empty field. A loose soil will react differently, it may simply liquefy in the presence of water, as evidenced in Japan, it may amplify as at Mexico City. Also the intervening strata will have either dampening effects or amplifying effects, depending upon depth and extent and consistency.
      The structural damage at Blackpool was apparently amplified locally by an unknown factor to cause that damage, we have no way of measuring it except for seismic stations that may have been in the correct locations. There is also the factor of resonance. Measurement may be greater in a resonant soil basin, and less in a rock formation. Structures may be perfectly safe at certain frequencies, but if the resonance hits the right, or wrong frequency, considerable damage may result.
      So, you see, it is not the equivalent of a truck bow wave effect at the surface, far from it, it is a factor of dominant or variable geology, water presence and saturation, resonant frequency of the quake at the surface, and the depth and the magnitude of the quake at epicenter, and the location and integrity of the structure and its foundations.
      Bit of a minefield isn’t it?

      • You are wrong. The standard formula for calculating earthquake magnitude has a correction for distance from recording station to epicentre and focal depth.

        • Not even close AI, It is you who are quite wrong,

          The Richter Scale is an inexact arbitrary figure that relates to nothing at all, and did not even relate to earth quakes originally, but was a measurement of stellar magnitude, and even then, the Richter Scale was an arbitrary figure that was just a convenience as no other measurement was suggested.


          “The Richter scale was developed in 1935 by American seismologist Charles Richter (1891-1989) as a way of quantifying the magnitude, or strength, of earthquakes. Richter, who was studying earthquakes in California at the time, needed a simple way to precisely express what is qualitatively obvious: some earthquakes are small and others are large.
          An earthquake is a violent shaking of the ground that is usually caused by sudden motion on a geological fault. For example, the magnitude 6.9 1994 Northridge earthquake, which resulted in severe damage in the Los Angeles, area, was caused by between two and four meters of slip on a fault measuring about 12 kilometres long and 15 kilometres wide, 10 kilometres beneath the city’s northern suburbs. Today, earthquakes and fault motion are inextricably linked in the minds of seismologists–so much so that upon hearing that an earthquake has occurred, we immediately ask about the fault that caused it. Richter’s focus, in contrast, was on the ground vibration itself, which he could easily monitor using seismometers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). To Richter, a high-magnitude earthquake was one with strong ground vibration. Thus, for the Richter scale no direct connection is made to any of the properties of the causative fault.
          Richter’s scale was modelled on the stellar magnitude scale used by astronomers, which quantifies the amount of light emitted by stars (their luminosity). A star’s luminosity is based on telescopic observations of its brightness that are corrected for the telescope’s magnification and for the star’s distance from Earth. But because luminosity varies over many factors of ten (Betelgeuse is 50,000 times more luminous than Alpha Centauri, for example), astronomers calculate a logarithm of the luminosity to produce the stellar magnitude: an easy-to-remember single-digit number.
          Richter substituted measurements of the amount of ground vibration, as measured by a seismograph, for measurements of luminosity. Note that in both cases the sense of strength is quite abstract: stellar magnitude is not a measure of the physical size of a star (as might be quantified by its diameter), but rather of the amount of light that the star emits. Seismic magnitude is not a measure of the physical size of the earthquake fault (as might be quantified by its area or its slip) but rather of the amount of vibration that it emits.
          In Richter’s initial formulation, an earthquake 100 kilometres away that caused a one-millimetre amplitude signal on the Caltech seismometer’s paper recorder was arbitrarily defined to be magnitude 3. (The magnification of Richter’s seismometer was about 2,800, so one millimetre on the paper record corresponds to about 0.36 microns of actual ground motion). An earthquake at the same distance that produced a 10-millimetre amplitude recording was designated magnitude 4, a 100-millimetre amplitude was magnitude 5, and so forth. Richter then went on to devise correction tables that allowed magnitudes to be calculated regardless of the actual distance of the earthquake from the seismometer.
          The appeal of the Richter magnitude scale is twofold. First, an earthquake is summarized by an easy-to-remember and easy-to-interpret single-digit number. A magnitude 3 is a tiny earthquake. A magnitude 6 is one that can cause substantial damage. A magnitude 9, like the one that caused December’s deadly Indian Ocean tsunami, is capable of causing severe devastation. Second, the magnitude can easily be determined from measurements made by a seismometer, which need not be located particularly close to the fault. Indeed, modern seismometers can record earthquakes of magnitude 5 and above occurring anywhere in the world. The downside to the Richter scale is that magnitude is a single number, which cannot fully characterize a complicated phenomenon such as an earthquake. Earthquakes with the same magnitude can differ in many fundamental ways, including the directions of the vibrations, and their relative amplitude at different periods during the tremblor. These differences can lead to earthquakes with the same magnitude having significantly different levels of destructiveness.�
          Beginning in the mid-1960’s, seismologists developed a fairly complete understanding of how a slipping fault generates ground vibrations. An important quantity that characterizes the strength of the faulting is the seismic moment, the algebraic product of the fault area, the fault slip and the stiffness of the surrounding rock. Generally speaking, an earthquake with large magnitude corresponds to faulting with a large moment, with an increase in one magnitude unit corresponding to an increase of moment by about a factor of 30. But the relationship is inexact, and many cases occur where small faulting causes an unexpectedly large magnitude earthquake or vice versa.”

          so you see the Richter Scale has no basis in physics at all, its only a convenient arbitrary number that relates to nothing other than a bigger quake requires a bigger figure, nothing more.

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