“More lives at risk” from Cuadrilla’s revised traffic plans for proposed Roseacre Wood fracking site

Roseacre horse

Route to Cuadrilla’s proposed Roseacre Wood site. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Revised plans for lorry deliveries to a second proposed fracking site in Lancashire would “put even more lives at risk”, a community group said today.

The plans, published by the shale gas company, Cuadrilla, this morning, added two new routes for deliveries to the Roseacre Wood site near Blackpool, taking lorries through an extra five communities. All three routes would need 39 passing places.

The company said the risk to public safety remained low. A spokesperson said:

“The new multiple routes proposed will lessen impact on any one area.  New mitigations, such as passing places and having no HGV movements at the weekend, the peak time of heavy road usage by vulnerable users, have been introduced to ensure maximum safety for all.”

But Roseacre Awareness Group, which has opposed the site for nearly four years, described the new routes as unsuitable for heavy vehicles and risky for other road users.

The group’s chair, Jim Nisbet said:

“The routes they are now proposing, in addition to that rejected by the Inspector at the original Inquiry, are just as unsuitable.

“We accept  that the roads are used by HGVs and agricultural vehicles presently but they are not 44 ton six axled HGVs as utilised by the fracking industry.  There are those who don’t seem to understand the difference and perhaps they need to visit the local area to truly understand the reasons why we believe Cuadrilla’s new proposals are no better than their original”

“This is going to put even more people’s lives at risk. These rural lanes and villages are not suitable for this type of heavy traffic or industry.”

Lancashire County Council refused planning permission for Roseacre Wood in June 2015 because of highway safety concerns.

An inspector at a public inquiry in 2016 recommended refusal of the scheme for the same reason. But the Communities’ Secretary, Sajid Javid, said he was minded to approve the proposal and reopened the inquiry to give Cuadrilla another chance to present evidence on traffic issues.

The new proposals, contained in 20 documents on Cuadrilla’s website, also include traffic controls, changes to the roads and limits to the number and hours of deliveries.

Mr Nisbet said:

“They are also proposing to put in a number of passing places and even a set of traffic lights on one section of road.

“The total number of new passing places proposed is now 39. If they have to create this many it shows the routes are unsuitable.

“It starts to smack of desperation. I cannot see how these proposals provide the necessary mitigation sought by the Secretary of State and I am sure that once the new Inspector, Mel Middleton, undertakes his site visits he will agree.”

People can comment on the new proposals until 10 January 2018. The inquiry is due to open in April 2018.

Key points

The traffic routes

Cuadrilla Roseacre Wood proposed traffic routes

The proposed routes to Roseacre Wood (marked by red circle). Map: Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla proposes to use the original route to the site, now called the Blue Route, as well as two new routes, called the Green and Red Routes.

Blue Route: The original route from the A584 at Clifton, along Dagger Road and Salwick Road, and either through the defence site DHFCS Inskip site or the village of Wharles

Green Route: New route from the A585 north of the site, through the villages of Thistleton, Elswick and Roseacre

Red Route: New route from the A585 north of the site, through the villages of Thistleton, Elswick, Crossmoor and Inskip and either through DHFCS Inskip or the village of Wharles.

Dagger Road 2

Dagger Road on the proposed Blue Route to Roseacre Wood. Photo: Roseacre Awareness Group

The new routes mean

  • 5 additional communities affected by HGV traffic: Thistleton, Elswick, Crossmoor, Inskip and Roseacre
  • 27 extra passing places constructed

Cuadrilla has said HGVs would go through DHFCS Inskip to avoid the village of Wharles for all phases of the project except extended flow testing.

Delivery numbers

Cuadrilla said it would limit HGV movements to a maximum of 50 per day: 25 into the site and 25 out across all three routes. A spokesperson said the daily average across the project would be significantly less than this.

It gave examples of how the HGVs could be distributed across the routes:

Utilising 1 Route: If the Green Route is used by Cuadrilla for 50 two-way HGVs on a particular day then no HGVs could use the Red or Blue routes that day.

Utilising 2 Routes: If the Green Route is used by Cuadrilla for 30 two-way HGV movement on a particular day (i.e. 15 each way) then 20 two-way HGV movements (i.e. 10 each way) could route on the Red Route but no HGVs could use the Blue Route.

Utilising 3 Routes: If the Red Route is used by Cuadrilla for 30 two-way HGV movements on a particular day then the Green and Blue Routes could be used by up to 20 two-way HGV movements (e.g. 10 two-way HGV movements on the Green Route and 10 two-way HGV movements on the Blue Route).

During the extended flow test, HGVs driving through Wharles would be limited to three in and three out, the proposals said.

Delivery hours

Cuadrilla said access to the Roseacre wood site would be limited to 7.30am-6.30pm Monday-Friday and there would be no HGV deliveries on Saturday, Sunday or public holidays. But in a separate part of the proposals, the company allows for deliveries at any time in an operational emergency.

Use of the Red Route would be prevented from 8am-9am and 3pm-4pm to avoid Inskip St Peters primary school at drop-off and pick-up times, Cuadrilla said.

Traffic controls

Cuadrilla said it would create passing places on all three routes.

  • Blue Route: 4 on Dagger Road and 8 on Salwick Road
  • Green Route: 16 on Roseacre Road
  • Red Route: 5 on BH269 Lodge Lane and B5269 Preston Road and 6 on Higham Side Road/Inskip Road

The company said there would be temporary traffic signals on part of Dagger Road on the Blue Route. They would be triggered when any two HGVs (not just Cuadrilla HGVs) were travelling on Dagger Road at the same time in opposite directions. It would, in effect, temporarily close this section of road to two-way traffic. Cuadrilla said “based on measured HGV traffic flows this is expected to be a low frequency occurrence”.

Moving large equipment

Cuadrilla said it would mobilise and demobilise the drilling rig and hydraulic fracturing equipment no more than twice during the project to reduce the number of times of peak HGV traffic.

Traffic management plan

Entrance to Roseacre Wood

Entrance to the proposed Roseacre Wood site. Photo: DrillOrDrop

The proposals have a draft traffic management plan (TMP), which would become a condition of planning permission if it were granted by the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid.

This would bring together the restrictions on deliveries, including routes, hours, numbers, as well as requirements such as wheel washing and monitoring of road conditions and sanctions if the requirements were not followed.

Cuadrilla said the TMP would ensure no two Cuadrilla HGVs servicing the site would ever meet each other on any one of the three HGV routes.

The TMP does allow Cuadrilla, in “exceptional circumstances” to use convoys to make deliveries or removals from Roseacre Wood and for them to travel outside the agreed hours. The TMP defines exceptional circumstances as a high threat to the safety of HGVs or the public or a high threat to public amenity.

Opponents of the Roseacre Wood scheme are unlikely to be reassured by the TMP.

An equivalent plan for Cuadrilla’s site at Preston New Road, where shale gas drilling is underway, is now on at least its eleventh version. There have been big changes to the arrangements first agreed between the company, councillors and residents. Cuadrilla breached that TMP when it brought the drilling rig onsite in the early hours of the morning. Anti-fracking campaigners have said there have been many other breaches.



Proposed Blue Route to Roseacre Wood. Photo: Roseacre Awareness Group

Under a worst-case scenario, HGV levels would rise by more than 94% on Roseacre Road, 78% on Dagger Road and 80% on Salwick Road, Cuadrilla said. It said this increase was below that needed to have a significant impact.

Cuadrilla said the new routes would not increase the total number of HGVs supplying the site and there would be no significant impact or change to:

  • Local air quality
  • Listed buildings (the new routes pass an extra three listed buildings)
  • Archaeological remains at Inskip airfield, now described as a heritage asset
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Crime
  • Public safety
  • Public rights of way
  • Visual amenity
  • Noise
  • Delays to drivers and pedestrians
  • Fear and intimidation from vehicles
  • Cumulative effects

Cuadrilla said there would be a slight adverse impact on accidents, safety and severance (the perceived division when a community is separated by traffic). The environmental transport assessment classed severance as major on Roseacre Road on the Green Route, moderate at two points on the Red Route  and moderate on one part of the Blue Route.

Protests and obstructions

The proposals assumed that if Roseacre Wood were approved, there would be an equivalent level of protest as that seen at Preston New Road

The company said:

“Cuadrilla will work closely with the Police and LCC to prevent the obstruction of HGV Routes into and out of the Site by protestors or other events via all practical measures, agreed with all parties where appropriate. If there is any obstruction of routes then the Site Management Team will have in place contingency planning to vary the particular permitted HGV Routes being used.”


The public consultation on Cuadrilla’s plans continues until 10 January 2018.

Cuadrilla’s website has links to the consultation documents (see Inquiry and Consultation).

This document has details of how to respond to the consultation.

The public inquiry is provisionally scheduled to start at 10am on Tuesday, 10 April 2018 at Blackpool Football Club. It is expected to sit for eight days (Tuesday-Friday). Inquiry website

Updated 30/11/2017 to include amended and additional quote from Jim Nisbet

23 replies »

  1. Anybody who has any scientific knowledge and experiences any oil / gas company practice knows there will be significant impact and change on the environment and community. They can’t guarantee there won’t be hiccups in the drilling process, nor the behaviour of drivers under pressure. Vibrations from HGVs do harm buildings. Delays to local drivers will soon become evident. Noise will be there from generators, vehicles, cranes, metal clanging day and night. That’s all before we get on to the water and air quality. We know the EPA will fail in preventative monitoring and will only respond after the event . There are no gold standards in the UK that’s just another myth!

  2. Seems a little odd to claim these roads are not suitable for HGVs and then show a picture of one using same! This is not the first time, I recall the previous one was a demolition company HGV.

    Do the local farms not have HGVs delivering feed/oil/diesel/ new heavy machinery, removing milk/grain/cattle/sheep?

    For anyone who has lived in rural Britain they will know it is much easier to manage lorry movements on rural roads as congestion from other traffic is less of an issue.

    • The pictures also show a horse rider and a group of cyclists. The picture of the lorry demonstrates how dangerous the increase in HGVs would be for these road users. An HGV passing a horse rider or group of them at such close quarters is guaranteed to end badly. Riders will be driven out of the area and the many livery and riding establishments in this area may as well close down. The large number of cyclists using the lanes, some of which form part of the National Cycle Route, bring business to the shops, pubs and restaurants in the area. All these well established businesses, many family run for years, appear to be considered to be collateral damage by Cuadrilla and Sajid Javid.

  3. Pauline-the lorry driver (or his employers) pay a vast amount of money for roads to be built and maintained to enable his business to flourish. (Known as vehicle tax.) Perhaps you could explain how much the horses, riders, or cyclists contribute towards that?

    As I said previously, these rural roads have frequent use by HGVs, and in the winter, in many areas, the farmers are employed to keep these roads free from snow, and do so willingly, because their livelihoods are at risk if the HGVs do not get through. If horses and cyclists follow along, great-a bonus.

    I would suggest you spend a little more time on the pursuit of bridleways if you want routes dedicated for livery and riding establishments. Perhaps the community fund from Cuadrilla could help in this respect?

    • The equestrian, cyclist and pedestrian are more than likely car drivers too so have to pay VED so have every right to use roads. But VED doesn’t pay for road building or up keep that comes from consolidated taxation ie income tax, council tax etc which means as long as your mode of transport is allowed on the highway you have as much right to use it as s HGV operator. Poor argument!

  4. The long established businesses I mentioned also pay towards roads etc in the form of business rates they pay even though they probably don’t contribute much damage to the roads compared to the HGVs you refer to.They also provide important local employment and will continue to do so if they are not destroyed by the arrival of a heavy industrial practice into a previously unspoilt landscape. Contrast that with Cuadrilla’s reply at the Public Inquiry when asked how many permanent jobs for locals would be provided. “Eleven each at PNR and Roseacre Wood and they would be mainly in security and cleaning.” This would be at the expense of jobs in tourism, leisure and agriculture.
    I have lived here, in a very rural area for over 50 years. The roads in many cases are narrow, unlit lanes with no footpaths and with no proper foundation to them. They are already in an atrocious state, more pot holes than lanes in many cases. In 2014, John Fillis, the Cabinet member in charge of Highways at LCC, visited the prospective fracking sites and warned that even exploratory work would cause direct damage to local roads. He claimed if full scale drilling went ahead the local road network would collapse.
    I have been present at the roadside at PNR since work began in January. I can personally vouch for the fact that Preston New Road around the site entrance and beyond is already cracking up badly. Preston New Road is a properly made, main road. The local lanes around Roseacre would suffer far more damage.
    Your comment that horse riders should be restricted to bridleways is just insulting and ridiculous.

  5. Good argument, crembrule. It made you state “as much right to use it as HGV operator”. So, if HGVs have the same right to use these roads then there is no issue. Roseacre Awareness Group will love your input.

    • Ah but don’t go crowing to quickly the trucks maybe entitled to use the roads but planning decisions are made with regard to impact assessment and if the amount of additional HGVs would create an issue for existing users this is grounds for refusal. Sorry your argument doesn’t hold water much Quadrillas bath tub pad design.

  6. Having read this diretrite the argument defeats itself if the cyclists & horse riders are also car drivers then they themselves are party to the problem. we need oil & gas to manufacture the cars & provide the fuel for the cars they them selves drive & I wonder just how many of them heat their homes with oil or gas. the muppets I suppose if we continue on their line of thought we should kill all the cows too as they produce a lot of methane gas.

    • Gasman the point is which you choose not to see is Martin makes the destination the cyclists, equestrians and pedestrians should not use the roads as they do not contribute to there upkeep which is patently not the case. Fossil fuel use or not. It’s s poor argument and wouldn’t even get out of the starting blocks at the inquiry.

  7. Planning approval and attached planning conditions are just a foot in the door.

    This is obviously true as the current application by Cuadrilla to extend access hours to PNR, permit site entry from either direction whenever Cuadrilla deem necessary, increase times and duration of flaring etc., etc!

  8. Martin, yes farmers use the network and yes HGVs do deliver but they are not 6 axles 44 ton HGVs and not undertaking the volume of movements per day Cuadrilla are proposing, that is why their proposals will have a much bigger impact on the rural lanes. And just to let you know, the farmers in the area do not keep the roads clear in winter, those between Elswick and Roseacre are not gritted either so where doe the safety element come in. I would also suggest that if they have to create 39 new passing places, not the 27 quoted, that alone demonstrates the unsuitability of the roads for what is sought.

    [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

  9. Pauline/Crem-please at least read my post if you want to comment upon it! I did NOT suggest any restriction to users of the roads-it is you wanting that, but I can tell you that most of the horse riders I know would much prefer to ride on bridleways rather than on roads.

    Where I live, I am surrounded by stables, yet close by there are three large schools. Guess what? The riders who wish to use the road organise to ride on the road (usually to reach a bridleway) when school buses and coaches have dispersed, ie. they set their own traffic management plan. It occurs very frequently, over vast areas of the UK.

    • But the issue isn’t with school buses or coaches is it! It isn’t with Horse riders wanting to use the roads exclusively either. The issue is with the proposed increase in HGV traffic through the week (Sundays excluded) and during the holiday periods which may create safety issues and this will affects all current road users whether car drivers, existing HGVs operators, argricultural vehicles , horse riders, pedestrians, cyclists whom ever as well affecting local residents quality of life.

      It wont be me saying the company cannot do this it will be the Planning Inspector and that decision will be made in relation to an assessment of the impact of the proposals on existing users. Sometimes developments create too much of an impact and the effects cannot be mitigated satisfactorily. Whether the multiple routes approach improves the risk or just spreads it further afield will be tested at inquiry. Sorry if this doesn’t fit with your agenda but it has been like this for years regardless of the development.

    • Oh Martin, some more people you ‘know’ to place in your empty argument. Are these the same ‘people’ that have chosen to burn the bedding next to your house?

      Most rider’s organise an out ride, bridleway or road if in a group. It’s a social thing, yeh you know, friends an all……Horses are very sensitive animals and do not respond well to huge puffing lorries cutting off their route of escape (they are flight animals and will take off if scared). The roads around villages are historically to serve the villages. Larger roads have been built to enable traffic to travel between larger settlements over time. Leave the village roads to the villages.

      Thought for the day:
      If there was no oil and gas and all energy was generated cleanly, locally and respectfully used, shared between all; would there no longer be wars between nations, division between communities and a greater responsibility for the earth?

    • Martin, what have the arrangements riders around where you live make with regard to school transport got to do with 50 additional daily HGV movements on the roads around the Roseacre Wood site? These HGVs are proposed to operate throughout the working week and during holiday periods (Public holidays excluded). The additional traffic may be seen to increase the risk to vulnerable road users for a much greater period than your example.

      Development planning takes into account the affect of proposals on the road network local to the site in relation to all existing users including, horse riders, cyclists, pedestrians, car drivers, agricultural vehicles and existing HGV drivers. It also takes into account the suitability of the local road network to handle to proposed additional traffic. It will be down to the Planning Inspector, as it was with the previous Inspector Wendy McKay, to make recommendations on the evidence presented at the inquiry as to the impact of the proposed development and whether that impact has been suitably mitigated by the proposals. The inquiry will be also test whether splitting to multi-routes will mitigate the risks or just spread them further afield. Fortunately you aren’t involved in that decision making process as you appear to make snap judgments without much reference to the evidence.

  10. Crem-just read the proposals and you will see they incorporate much of what you state they do not. Use of words like “may” do not sound very convincing. Of course it will be decided by taking all into consideration, but to try and argue that HGVs cannot, and do not, already utilise such roads safely is a nonsense.

    Sherwulfe-you delight in posting around subjects you know nothing about. I worked with significant members/numbers of the UK equine industry during my working life and can talk from wide experience. You may feel my knowledge on the subject needs to be questioned and the reasons are quite clear for all to see, but do try looking up, for example, Aberystwyth University. You might just find an equine research facility (if it hasn’t been cut) that I have funded in the past to do some fairly novel equine research in co-operation with a number of leading equine experts in the UK. Get used to it Sherwulfe, some of us do speak from experience-I can recommend it. By the way, the EA has solved my neighbourhood problem. Funny that, when in Wressle they are untrusted to have that sort of ability.

    • You have certainly been around Martin, a job or a friend for every post…

      I’m amazed you are so researched in my ‘delights’ but maybe one of your ‘friends’ knows me? Also love the way you presume in your ‘Sims’ world no one else works, has experience in, or currently is involved in anything…… would that mean acknowledging another human being has something important to say, I wonder?

      I’m afraid your research grant was wasted. It does not seem to have improved your hands on knowledge, or empathy for other humans or equines.
      Not funny that 😦

      So happy your little problem is fixed; am sure there is a lot of love around your house right now 🙂

      • Some bedtime listening for ‘ordinary investors’. ‘What Keeps the Chancellor Awake?’ Radio 4 In Business 8.30 -9pm Thursday 30th November.

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