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, 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.