Crane operator pulling out of work at Cuadrilla’s fracking site


Preston New Road outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site this morning. Photo: Ros Wills

The company that supplied a crane to Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool has pulled out of the job and is waiting to remove its equipment.

Bryn Thomas Cranes LtdBryn Thomas Cranes, of Flint, was sub-contracted by another company to carry out two-three days of work at Preston New Road.

The contract was due to start yesterday but Nick Bartley, from Bryn Thomas, said the company was unaware of the site or work when it took on the job. He said:

“Since we have been made aware of what kind of site we have been hired in to, our machine is being collected”.

Cuadrilla announced this morning that the drilling rig for the UK’s first horizontal shale gas wells had arrived on the site.

Mr Bartley told DrillOrDrop:

“We were ordered to supply a crane. We were told to go to AFC Fylde [the football club based at Wesham].

“We thought it could have been work on a stadium.

“Our driver met the customer’s representative at AFC Fylde and was then escorted to the site”

Mr Bartley said the company only found about the work through comments on its Facebook page, emails and social media posts.

Asked what made Bryn Thomas pull out of the contract, he said:

“It was the reaction from residents in the area. We were not aware of the intensity of feeling. We don’t want to upset a lot of people through no fault of our own.

“Understanding more the impacts and effects that this has had on the local communities, the management made the decision to have the crane removed from site”.

Mr Bartley said the crane had been derigged this morning and was in a road travel position from 7.30am.

“The driver is parked and ready to leave.”

The road outside the site is currently blocked by police vans and lock-on protests. In a message to Cuadrilla’s opponents, Mr Bartley said:

“I assure you the crane operator has not, and will not be, carrying out any lifts. If any assistance could be given to allow him to leave site as quickly as possible that would be greatly appreciated.”

DrillOrDrop invited Cuadrilla to comment. This post will be updated with any response.


34 replies »

  1. read what bryn thomas have posted, oh no you two don’t need to do that, you know all about the internal administration of a company in north wales, one of you from thoudands of miles away

  2. Actually ‘Howard’,Paul and I are both in the UK, it is your friend Hobbit that has problems understanding this, he seems to think I am an American that posted under the name ‘Peeny’. Anyway now we have that cleared up I will 100% stand by the hire company might pretend they didn’t know where their valuable equipment was going but from having a construction background I can literally guarantee you they knew very well where it was going. They are just telling you what you want to hear so you leave them alone, to be honest I don’t blame the, although I would have bigger b*lls and tell you lot where to go. Doubtful that anti protestors would ever need a crane so I wouldn’t be bothered about upsetting you.
    Anyway the rig is now safely through the gates and the end game is fast approaching. The Russians will be greatly dissapointed you lot failed in your attempts to prevent it 😀

  3. as the evidence that the rig is through the gates comes from francis egan i think it can safely be said that it isn’t or at least not all of it

  4. so if bryn thomas knew all along where the rig was going they must have thought maybe no-one will notice it going through the gates and anyway if they do they won’t know how to contact us and put bad reviews on our website 😀

  5. They seem to still have a yellow crane on site. So it doesn’t really matter if they pull out. Still use the yellow crane to lift the protesters off the lorry top.

  6. Bryn Thomas crane hire did know Thay was going to that site because you are sent a email telling you to phone a number when you reach the football ground and a security password. So don’t bull shit saying you didn’t know. And anyone who believed them are stupid.

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