Live news updates: public statements to inquiry into Cuadrilla’s Roseacre Wood fracking plans

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Live updates on the first sessions of the Roseacre Wood inquiry hearing public statements. More than 80 people are expected to give evidence to the inquiry, taking place over 10 days at Blackpool Football Club.

Updates from this morning’s evidence from Roseacre Awareness Group on highway safety are here.  The inquiry is hearing evidence on Cuadrilla’s plans for two additional traffic routes, 39 passing places and traffic signals.

Key points in the public statements

  • There will be protests outside the Roseacre Wood site
  • The increase in the biggest HGVs on Dagger Road could be 1,250%
  • Proposed lorry routes are well used by cyclists and horse riders during the week, as well as at weekends
  • “Mitigation measures do little to improve safety of other road users”
  • “Driver education proposals are extremely weak”
  • Questions over accuracy of Cuadrilla’s counts of pedestrians
  • Sowerby parish council opposes all proposed routes
  • “Lorry route would have a negative effect on Inskip primary school”
  • Roseacre Wood construction would coincide with building the Preston Western Distributor Road
  • “The inquiry inspector has not had a true picture of agricultural traffic on rural roads”
  • “Residents cannot trust Cuadrilla or a traffic management plan”
  • “The inquiry is an assault on the democratic process”
  • “Roseacre Wood will set a precedent for other villages around the country”
  • Proposed passing places total over 1km in length
  • “Revised traffic plans are an admission that Roseacre Wood is an unsuitable and unsafe location”
  • “HGV drivers at Preston New Road have shown a lack of diligence and care when entering the site”
  • The proposed HGV route has sections with no footway, bends and high hedges” and Dagger Road traffic signals are “ludicrous verging on suicidal”
  • “Cuadrilla HGVs will intimidate pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders”


8.10pm Hearing closes

The inquiry resumes at 1pm tomorrow.

8.05pm Tina Rothery

Tina Rothery

Tina Rothery Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Ms Rothery, says she is speaking as a national anti-fracking campaigning.

She says protests will result if Cuadrilla comes to Roseacre Wood. Over the last 15 months, 480 days protesters have been at Preston New Road and have not left. A message from Preston New Road, we absolutely fully intend to object at Roseare Wood. Just because we don’t live

Police are already overstretched and over-tired at Preston New Road

The inspector says this is not appropriate. Ms Rothery’s microphone is turned off. He asks Ms Rothery to go. The inspector says the inquiry is about mitigation measure on highway safety. If you don’t have things to say on these issues, I’d be grateful if you would leave.

All you are doing is annoying me, which will not help you, the inspector says.

7.59pm Roy Harrison

Roy Harrison

Roy Harrison Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mr Harrison says the proposed development will have a severe impact on his life.

The draft traffic management plan will allow up to 50 of the largest HGVs and out-of-hours convoys. The use of convoys would be made without consultation.

There would be 1,250% on Dagger Road of the biggest HGVs.

These rural roads have developed from farm tracks. They have not been designed for the pummelling of the biggest lorries. The current deteriorating will only continue with increased HGVs.

Cuadrilla appears to be relaxed about the increase in HGVs, he says. Vulnerable users will be required to avoid the edge of the road. Cyclists will have to move from the road side because of flooding, leading to the risk of conflict with other road users.

A severe and unacceptable impact will result on vulnerable road users.

I am a vulnerable road user. This rural road network is my gym.   My wife is a vulnerable road user – she walks dogs. My daughter is a vulnerable road user – she walks and cycles.

The mitigation measures do nothing to protect me and my family, he says.

7.56pm Jon Howson

John Howson

John Howson Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mr Howson says he is representing cyclists who use the local roads to get to work during the week. During the summer, the cyclists also do group rides round the Fylde.

The increase in HGVs would make the routes more dangerous, he says.

Mr Howson says he has lived in Inskip for 24 years. He commutes all year round. The proposed lorry routes are very well used by cyclists in the Fylde. Roseacre Road is commonly used because it is quiet.

The thought of a large influx of large HGVs is a sobering thought, he says. It is only a matter of time for an accident to happen. HGVs are a dangerous hazard on these rural roads, he says.

7.50pm Jane Barnes

Jane Barnes

Jane Barnes Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Ms Barnes, a leisure horse rider and professional horse woman, says she has liaised with safety officer for the British Horse Society who is at the inquiry.

She says the rural lanes are important for horses and riders. There is no network of bridleways so the roads are free for all to use. She says she passed a Cuadrilla camera on a horse but the count recorded no riders.

The British Horse Society says 38 riders have been killed on the road. A horse was killed in Elswick.

Simply repeating that the local roads are safe does not make it so, she says.

How can it be safe for the addition of thousands of extra heavy goods vehicles, she says, with the narrow lanes and sharp bends.

If riders meet a lorry they may be forced forward by following vehicles. The horse will go backwards.

Why should people be prevented from riding out on local roads, she says.

7.46pm Edward Cook

Edward Cook

Edward Cook Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mr Cook, who lives in Lytham, is representing cyclists who use local routes three-times a week, including roads on the proposed lorry routes.

Cycling injuries have increased by a third in the  past 10 years while other road accidents have fallen.

His club uses Thistleton, Elwick, Wharles, Inskip and Roseacre, he says. There will be an increase in injuries. It is not if, but when there will be a fatality, he says.

Introducing HGV convoys onto our rural roads flies in the face of the Government’s policy on supporting our rural economy.

He says there will be an increase in the number of HGVs, higher pollution from nitrous oxide and a deterioration of road surfaces.

He says the quiet roads in the Fylde will no longer be safe to use.

7.40pm Anne Broughton

Anne Broughton

Anne Broughton Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Ms Broughton lives in Roseacre. She says she has “very serious concerns” about the traffic issues.

She says she is “astounded” by “the blase attitude” to road safety: that it is alright for wing mirrors to oversail the hedges, for example. This demonstrates that the routes are total unsuitable, she says.

Ms Broughton says 35mph would qualify for inappropriate speed on local roads, often perceived by pedestrians as intimidating.

She says mitigation measures proposed do very little to improve safety for other road users. She says the removal of verges would leave dog walkers or horse riders with nowhere to go. Guidance recommends the widening of refuges and the separation of people from traffic.

It has been suggested many time that wing mirrors could overhang the hedges, she says. This under-estimates the danger of wing mirrors to pedestrians, Ms Broughton says. People have died or been seriously injured when hit by wing mirrors, she says.

None of the routes are safe, she says. Nor are they suitable. The passing places are totally inadequate. Driver education proposals are extremely weak and would be largely out of Cuadrilla’s control.

7.31pm Ruth Turner

Ruth Turner

Ruth Turner Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mrs Turner walks huskies, run and cycle onto routes proposed by Cuadrilla for its Roseacre Wood HGVs.

All these routes carry a high degree of risk because of lack of pavement, height of hedges and speed of traffic. She says she is concerned that walkers have to go onto the verge and if the scheme is implemented these would be reduced.

Mrs Turner says she is “incredulous” that Cuadrilla had picked up only one dog walker. She says there is a full list of dog owners in Wharles. She says she has evidence that the route was used by dog walkers on the time of Cuadrilla’s survey. We have no faith in Cuadrilla’s data, she says.

In the winter, the wet weather forces walkers onto the road because the fields are too wet.

As residents we have a right to move without fear around our homes. This is already threatened, she says, because of a near miss between a tanker and a car. More HGVs on the network will challenge the safety of walkers, she says.

Ms Lieven says Mrs Turner’s husband may have been picked up by the camera. Mrs Turner says she knows more people walked past the cameras than were counted by Cuadrilla. Mrs Turner asked whether Cuadrilla expected people to change their lives to avoid its traffic routes.

 7.26pm Cheryl Gilbertson

Cheryl Gilbertson

Cheryl Gilbertson Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mrs Gilbertson lives on Roseacre Road. We would be forced to live elsewhere if the Roseacre Wood scheme were approved. Her family would have no option to avoid the traffic routes to get to their home or to her child’s pre-school.

Mrs Gilbertson says she is a teacher in Blackpool. She would be unable to get home to pick up her children in time if the Roseacre Wood scheme were approved. Her children would be stranded and she would be fined. The pre-school facility would suffer if parents withdrew their children.

Why would I want to stay or join the community if facilities like this disappeared, she asks.

Mrs Gilbertson says she has seen wing mirrors knocked off and near misses. More HGVs on the roads would increase the risk of accidents. The roads are not suitable for these vehicles.

If the scheme relies on the use of verges, where do pedestrians go, she asks. If people do not feel safe to walk or cycle, why live in the area.

She urges the inspector to reject the proposal

7.18pm Carol Berry

Carol Berry

Carol Berry Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mrs Berry says she is representing Inskip with Sowerby Parish Council. She says the council opposes all the proposed routes.

On the bend at the Derby Arms, Inskip,  Cuadrilla’s witness had said this was safe and two approaching HGVs could use an area of gravel. Mrs Berry says the gravel area is not highway. The pavement is also very narrow on this section of road.

An HGV driver on the bend would block the route for approaching traffic which might not see it in time. There is a real danger that someone on the pavement could be hit by the trailer of an articulated lorry.

There could be children on the pavement walking to a local playground.  Once on the pavement, this should be a safe refuge for people.

Mrs Berry says many accidents are not reported if there is no injury. This doesn’t mean to say they are not serious issues for road safety, she adds.

She says Cuadrilla’s attempts to improve safety are poor. There have been few improvements to the Blue Route and the addition of new routes has not improved safety. The “knee jerk” reactions are insulting to our residents, she says. They are more appropriate to an episode of Bob the Builder, she adds.

7.07pm Paul Houghton

Paul Horton

Paul HoughtonSource: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mr Houghton says he is speaking on behalf of the governors at Inskip St Peter’s Church of England primary school.

He says the school is on one of the proposed route. This will have a negative impact on people coming to the school. It would increase the risk of a children being killed or injured.

Parents park either side of the school, forcing other vehicles to drive on the wrong side of the road.

Cuadrilla proposes to avoid drop-off and pick-up times on the route past the school. But Mr Houghton says activities at the school outside drop-off and pick-up times that would be affected by HGVs passing. There would be very little room at time for HGVs to pass the school.

The school promotes cycle and pedestrian training using Preston Road on the proposed traffic route. The whole school walks to the church for a service once a year.

Even if Cuadrilla extended the exception hours to reflect proper drop-off and pick-up time it would be difficult to see how this would be enforced.

Cuadrilla has not given details of how its vehicles would wait until after the exception hours.

Mr Houghton is concerned about the increase of diesel fumes and other traffic pollution from the site traffic.

Since the appointment of a new headteacher the roll has increased by 80%.

Inskip is a small rural community with a small rural school. An increase of traffic passing the school will have a negative impact on the pupils.

Nathalie Lieven, for Cuadrilla, said no HGVs would pass the school until 9am so the breakfast club would not be affected. She said no HGVs would pass the school after 3pm. After school activities would not be affected, she says.

6.58pm Sally Livesey

Sally Livesey

Sally Livesey

Mrs Livesey lives two miles from the Roseacre Wood site.

She says any other business that would bring 14,000 lorries to local roads it would be laughed out by the local planning department.

I own and run a livery yard with 12 horses, she says. The roads are relatively quiet, she says. Any significant HGV traffic will pose a risk to her livery, she says. Hacking is a weekday, as well as a weekend activity. The restriction on weekend deliveries will not help her clients.

If Cuadrilla had done a more detailed assessment, it would have seen the impact the development would have on people who use the roads.

People walk and cycle on the road to make the most of living in the countryside. If this appeal is granted it will directly affect the quality of life for people in the area. The risks of extra HGV traffic to her children would be unacceptable, she says.

The proposed route through Inskip has a very tight bend with no room for manoeuvre, she says.

The local roads have been resurfaced since the refusal of the Roseacre Wood application. But many have started deteriorated. Several roads have remained underwater for several days. A car overturned after hitting a water-filled pot hole.

These roads are entirely unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles, she says, and for the employees at the site.

6.53pm Chris Salmon

Christopher Salmon

Christopher Salmon Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mr Salmon says he has two main concerns.

The section of road from Wrea Green to Clifton Village has become part of a speed camera partnership between local councils and Highways for England to reduce accident. The routes have been chosen from accident data. From 2011-2017 there have been hundreds of accidents on the eight chosen routes in Lancashire.

Allowing 50ft juggernauts will not improve the safety of this road, he says.

The access to Lodge Lane from the A583 requires traffic to reduce speed, he says. Such are the safety concerns of this junction, a speed camera is installed. Lodge Lane is set at an angle of less than 90 degrees to the main road. A house development was declined because of the restrictive sight lines on this part of the A583. Additional Cuadrilla six-axle vehicles will not enhance the safety of this junction, he says.

This route should be rejected for these reasons alone.

6.51pm John Hannon

John Hammond

John Hammond Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mr Hannon says he lives on the Blue Route in Clifton. He says 500 yards from his home is a play park, which children reach by crossing Clifton Lane, on the Blue Route.

Mr Hannon says people use the road to walk dogs and get to work. DVLA use Clifton for driving tests.

Allowing Cuadrilla to drive heavy goods vehicles down these roads is a major health and safety issue. They could cause danger to people’s lives. Profits should never come before health and safety. These routes are totally unsuitable for the purpose of fracking .

6.36pm Peter Collins

Peter Collins

Enter a caption

Mr Collins is a member of Newton with Clifton Parish Council and Fylde Borough Council. He lives in Clifton and says he is representing 11 Clifton residents.

Mr Collins refers to evidence from David Bird about developments in Clifton that are generating traffic and that were not refused by Lancashire County Council. But he says Mr Bird did not mention the Preston Western Distributor Road linking the M55 with A583, about which he said the council had raised concerns. There were concerns about the routing of construction traffic particularly in relation to vulnerable users. Some of the traffic will be routed through  or around Clifton, Mr Collins says.

The start of the work on the road would coincide with the Roseacre Wood scheme. The cumulative impact on the proposed Blue Route to Roseacre Wood has not been assessed, Mr Collins says. It is a serious failure, he says.

Cuadrilla is seeking to introduced more HGVs traffic into a junction also used by the new road construction vehicles. Clifton Lane, which has no footway, will also be used by increased traffic, Mr Collins says.

Cuadrilla has not assessed pedestrian movements or the impact of increased traffic on pedestrians. The transport assessment has no regard for a major infrastructure project impinging on one of the preferred routes. It is inadequate and I request that this appeal be dismissed.

Nathalie Lieven, for Cuadrilla, says the company’s transport assessment did take account of cumulative impacts. The issue of the Preston West Distributor Road has not been raised with us by the council, she says.

The inspector, shown a map of the road, tells Cuadrilla “They’re halfway to building you a new road”.

6.32pm Hearing resumes

Inspector 2

Inspector Melvyn Middleton Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

The inspector, Melvyn Middleton, introduces the second session for public comments.

5.10 Break

The session resumes with more public statements at 6.30pm

5.04pm Malcolm Barron

Malcolm Barron2

Malcolm Barron Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mr Barron is a Conservative County Councillor in west Lancashire and a member of the council’s development control committee. He says the access to the site at Roseacre Wood is totally unsuitable.

He says 44-tonne lorries drive down country lanes in his division to agricultural packhouses. The lanes have been widened, resulting in subsidence on the verges, leading to heavy goods vehicles overturning. The HGVs also cause potholes.

Parish councils in his area commissioned Tom Hastey to review the problems in his area, resulting in a relief road scheme. Cyclists and horse riders use local lanes in his area thinking they are safe.

He says a relief road will have to be built for Roseacre Wood and it will cost huge amounts of money. He says he cannot imagine why Cuadrilla thought it should appeal against the decision of the development control committee.

4.57pm Heather Speak

Heather Speke

Heather Speke Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mrs Speak is a parish and district councillor. She lives between two farms on Roseacre Road at Wharles. The site is a quarter of a mile from her home. The local farmers pass her home 16 times a day.

She tells the inspector: I have been very concerned that you have not had a true picture of the agricultural traffic on local roads. Sometimes farm vehicles pass her home every 16 minutes during peak agricultural times.

Over the years, I have had to ask farmers to slow down their vehicles. Last year, there were 65 days of siloing. Harvest time, farmers work into the night. There are regular complaints about mud on the roads. It is an additional hazard for road users.

An agricultural contractor is off Dagger Roads between the traffic signals. This will have a big impact on their work, Mrs Speak says.

We live in a farming community, she says. There are milk tankers and lorries delivering livestock. It is a working farming community, she says. The additional HGVs will affect road safety, the farmers and everyday life. The police will not be able to police every lane because they do not have the resources.

Protesters will be able to obstruct large HGVs on any rural road. I will be one of them Sir, she says.

Residents like me will become protesters. I don’t want to be arrested but I feel very strongly about it, she says. Normal law abiding residents will be out protesting. We have no choice. I ask you to refuse these proposals.

4.51pm Nick Danby

Nick Danby

Nick Danby Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mr Danby says he lives in Inskip and the Red Route would go past his front gate. The proposals for Roseacre Wood have been opposed by every level of local government and the two local MPs. When will our voices be heard, he asks. He says the local roads are unsuitable for Cuadrilla’s site.

Mr Danby says his statement is based on his experiences outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road for hundreds of days since work began in January 2017.

The traffic management plan for Preston New Road, as agreed with the county council, has changed out of all recognition. There is little that can be regarded as a breach. The security guards can decide what is exceptional circumstances.

To be blunt, we cannot trust Cuadrilla, he says.

This week, the police allowed lorries to turn right, against the TMP, with no explanation.

To be blunt again, we cannot trust the TMP.

Mr Danby says he has been asked for directions to the Preston New Road and they often have no idea that they are delivering to a fracking site.

He says Cuadrilla expects protests to stop once the industry develops. I can assure the inspector there will be protests at a Roseacre Wood site and any other fracking site. Rural roads will be even further congested.

“This whole sorry business constitutes an assault on the democratic process”,he says. He adds:
“We must consider this application in the context of climate change. Anyone here today that does not recognise this essential truth is kidding themselves.”

4.45pm Maureen Mills

Maureen Mills

Maureen Mills Source: Cudrilla Inquiry

Mrs Mills is a resident and borough councillor in West Lancashire. She says her residents are likely to be affected by a similar situation in the future.

What happens at Roseacre Wood will set a precedent for other villages around the country, Mrs Mills says. Having listened to Cuadrilla, Mrs Mills says the company and its consultants appear to live in an ideal world.

Cuadrilla drivers will not be local, she says.  At Preston New Road, many of the drivers have come from Aberdeen, she says. What Cuadrilla says and does is different, she adds. Lancashire County Council has condemned the company for running out of time and returning for extensions. Several sites have still to be restored.

The county council is strapped for cash, she says. If Cuadrilla believes the council can immediately take enforcement action on hedgerows it is wrong. In her ward, the lead time for enforcement action on a road safety issue is eight weeks. That is the real world, she says.

The risks of road safety cannot be mitigated around Roseacre Wood. The inspector has the lives of residents in his hands, she says.

4.36pm John Bailie

John Bailey

John Bailey Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mr Bailie, of Poulton Le Fylde, says the are 16 passing places, measuring a total of 350m on Roseacre Road. 11 passing places are on the Red Route on Preston Road. On the blue route there will be 12, one group covering 56% of Salwick Road.

The passing places total 1,415m or 126 London buses parked nose to tail.  This will destroy large sections of grass verge and blight the countryside. It is also an acknowledgement of the inadequacy of the route.

The company acknowledges that are larger number of communities will be affected. Elswick village was the champion of champion in the 2017 Britain in Bloom. Cuadrilla lorries on the Green and Red Routes will now go through Elswick.

Mr Bailie identifies particularly difficult sections of the route.

These revised transport proposals are an admission that Roseacre is an unsuitable and unsafe location for the fracking process. If we allow it to happen here, there will be similarly unsuitable locations in other parts of the country.

4.26pm Chris Wyatt

chris wyatt

Chris Wyatt Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mr Wyatt, from Freckleton, says he doesn’t want the Fylde industrialised.

He talks about his experience of traffic deliveries during the construction and drilling stages at Preston New Road. He says he has witnesses protests, policing and the traffic management plan at this site. The road outside the site was built and designed as an arterial route.

The roads around Roseacre, in contrast, have evolved and maintained to support traffic between villages and leisure uses. The ambience is one of relaxation and slow pace. They have not evolved to support industrial activity and they cannot be redesigned for this without catastrophic results, he says.

Mr Wyatt says at Preston New Road there have been breaches of the traffic management plan. Protesters have a “steely determination” to protect the environment, he says. The police can create a corridor of command and control, establishing a police state, along the A583 to facilitate deliveries in and out of the site. The location of the site between two major junctions allows convoys to be brought in and out quite easily, he says.

The HGV drivers at Preston New Road have shown a lack of diligence and care in entering the site, he says. Drivers often see the site entrance as a target, he adds.

The traffic management plan at the Preston New Road is in a state of flux, he says. It depends on the number of protesters and the activity at the site.

The roads near Roseacre are not Preston New Road. The roads are not suitable. The police will not be able to facilitate the deliveries. The leisure activities will not be able to continue, especially if the same drivers are used.

Situational analysis is the only opportunity to understand the hazards. It is almost like giving a child a grain out of a packet of hundreds of thousands and expect them to be satisfied.

4.21pm Jill Walton

Jill Malton

Jill Walton Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Ms Walton is a resident of Inskip. She says she cannot believe that Cuadrilla believes the local lanes as suitable.

She refers to a section of the proposed Red Route. Preston Road in Inskip is the main route through the village. There is a footpath on one side only and in one section is less than 100cm wide. The bus stop is on this path. Considerate drivers move out but large vehicles have to stay next to the path. People using umbrellas risk having it taken out of their hands, she says.

There is no escape route on sections of the road for pedestrians, she says. The telegraph pole had to be replaced and a wall damaged but they did not appear in accident records, she says.

I am really concerned about when, not if, a tragedy happens on a corner of this road, she says.

4.13pm Christopher Noad


Christopher Noad Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mr Noad says Cuadrilla’s activities will change the character of the lanes for ever. He says the verges will be made smaller, creating an additional hazard for all road users.

From Roseacre to Elswick there will be 18 passing places, a total of 630m long, about a third of the total distance.This demonstrates the unsuitability of this rural to accommodate these lorries.

The frequent use of six-axle articulated lorries will be intimidating, he says. Consider a child walking on road millimetres from these vehicles. They will be terrified, even if accompanied by an older brother or sister.

Secondary school walk along these roads every day. This is a hazard now. But how irresponsible it is to make this work. We cannot give up our responsibility to the most vulnerable, he says.

The traffic management plan relies on compliance. We see non-compliance every day, he says.

“Accidents happen and our duty is to the vulnerable and innocent to ensure that we do not knowingly increase the hazards that exist already.”

On Dagger Road, he says the proposed traffic signals are “ludicrous verging on suicidal”. He says it appears to be an theoretical exercise.

Cuadrilla seeks to insert an industrial process into an agricultural area, he says. Too little has been said about agricultural machinery. Tractors are now 2.5m+ wide and training does not include meeting a 44-tonne lorry on a country road.

Cuadrilla has now  presented many routes and using countless experts to try to convince us that the impossible is possible. He says the company has failed to show that the routes can be made safe.

4.04pm Roger Hurton

Roger Hurton

Roger Hurton Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mr Hurton says he wants to comment on the use of the 2km track across the Inskip defence site. It is highly unlikely it was constructed to cope with 44-tonne vehicles. He has seen no maintenance for around 40 years, he says.

The junctions of the track with Inskip and Roseacre Roads are in poor quality. He has seen no details of vehicle movements for site construction on the Inskip site. Will these vehicles use the Cuadrilla routes and will the traffic management plan apply to the, he asks.

Mr Hurton says he often walks three days a week on Dagger Road and Salwick Road. The roads can be used by other lanes or footpaths without being counted by Cuadrilla’s pedestrian traffic cameras. He says he finds it had to accept that an increase in HGVs leading to an increase in accidents.

He says I walk from Wharles to Elswick via Roseacre on public footpaths. If I had taken this route the cameras would not have counted me on Roseacre Road, he says.

Cuadrilla has had four years to find a safe route to Roseacre Wood and it has not convinced anyone. He lists the previous inspector, Fylde Borough Councils, Lancashire County Council, local members of parliament and members of local parish councils. He urges the inspector to conclude there are no safe routes and do no address the 2016 inquiry concerns.

The inspector asks Nathalie Lieven about work on the Inskip defence site. She says the proposed work would be carried out by Cuadrilla or its contractor but she says there is no contract and the Ministry of Defence might prefer to take on the work. Ms Lieven says the track work will take three-four days and about six lorries going in and out.

3.57pm Barbara Hurton


Barbara Hurton Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mrs Hurton says she is a walker along the lanes, including those to the Roseacre Wood site.

She says she is horrified at the prospect of the biggest HGVs on the roads. She talks about right-angled corners and limited verges.

The proposed to 44 tonne articulated lorries are legally entitled to drive at 55mph. The slip-stream from a lorry is very frightening. Imagine the impact of a driver rushing to avoid breaching the tachograph limit. Parents with children, livestock and walkers will be very vulnerable, she says.

There are 15 rights of way that intersect the three Cuadrilla routes. These could be unsafe, she says.

The proposed traffic lights on Dagger Road include six gated field entrances, the entrance to a house, stables and an agricultural contractor. There is a caravan site, three homes and a farm on Moss Lane East which enter on to the traffic signal area.

Dagger Road is not a straight road, she says. This a recipe for disaster. It could create a head-on collision. A driver turning right from Moss Lane East would not be able to see whether the lights were red or green. The same applies in the opposite direction.

The original route was rejected because it was unsafe for vulnerable road users and their safety could not be compromised.

We need to exercise more, Mrs Hurton says. We are very fortunately because the lanes are quiet and the air is clean. They are used for recreational. They are free to use and accessible for everyone.

3.51pm Elizabeth Warner

elizabeth warner

Elizabeth Warner Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mrs Warner lives on Roseacre Road, and is a head teacher who , she says knows about the management of risk. She has signed off hundreds of risk assessments and refused to sign dozens. She talks about an accident of a child killed outside her school. She says her background of “what if” planning.

She says Cuadrilla’s traffic plan fits like a glass slipper on Cinderella’s ugly sister. The reliance on a “more typical day” “drivers behaving sensible” “plenty of room for drivers to pass cyclists” is concerning, she says.

She is also concerned about revisions “pulled out of a hat” under pressure from the inquiry. But when the pressure has gone what will happen, she asks.

Cuadrilla is not concentrating on road safety but on securing a flexible operational platform, she says. All of this is “the emperor’s new clothes”. There is a naked truth. The appeallant has failed to demonstrate this will work in practice. That was the task that was set. I invite you to conclude that on the balance of probabilities these “labyrinthine proposals will fail and reject the appeal.

The burden of proof was not on us to disprove these proposals. That was for the appellant and it has not been met.

3.43pm Barry Warner

Barry Warner

Barry Warner Source; Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mr Warner, a retired health and safety manager who lives in Roseacre, says he has conducted many thousand risk assessments. He has a personal and professional interest in Cuadrilla’s highway risk assessment. He said he thought the risk assessment by consultant, Vectos, was poor, “to be polite”.

Mr Warner says risk assessment approach by the Roseacre Awareness Group, Tom Hastey, was the most widely used and accepted methodology.

He criticises the approach by David Bird, of Vectos. Mr Bird said the RAG risk assessment was highly subjective and inconsistent. Mr Warner said this was no true.

Mr Warner asks why David Bird had not conducted a risk assessment. If one had, the results would be very similar to those from Mr Hastey and concluded that the risk were unacceptable.

The standards in the Cuadrilla documentation are unacceptable, Mr Warner says. The logic is perverse and conclusions are the opposite to those the facts suggest. The language is loaded, there are too many errors and some of the information is not credible.

How can such a long document be so poor. It was never an analysis. The outcome of the Vectos document was also assured. They had a brief to demonstrate that the roads were safe and that is not what they have achieved.

Nathalie Lieven, for Cuadrilla, said the criticisms were rejected by the company.

3.34pm Gillian Cookson

gillian cookson1

Gillian Cookson Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

Mrs Cookson, a retired local government officer, lives in Treales. She is a member of a local cycling club that uses the roads around Roseacre Wood.

She says she passed 13 cyclists on her Monday cycle and three agricultural heavy goods vehicles.

As vulnerable users, cyclists are in real dangers of being knocked off their bikes by an increase in HGVs.

On most roads, there are already risks, she says, and care has to be taken. Nearly every cyclist has experienced a near miss, exacerbated by the poor quality of local roads. This forces cyclists into the centre of the road where they are more at risk. The road verges are already damaged by HGVs .

Cuadrilla’s proposed passing places and traffic signals will make more problems for cyclists. A large lorry reversing round a bend would put me in danger.

Verges are not part of the highway -they are place of refuge for vulnerable road users, she says. Cuadrilla’s proposals do not consider the safety of vulnerable road users.

Near misses could become more serious accidents with more HGVs, she says.

The additional routes will not increase safety. There have been countless breaches of the traffic management plan at Preston New Road. This is not an industry that should be located in the countryside.

The new proposals have not mitigated the risks highlighted by the previous inspector. These proposals are dangerous. I urge you to refuse the appeal.


Inspector Melvyn Middleton Source: Cuadrilla Inquiry

3.30pm Session begins

The inspector, Melvyn Middleton, opens the session of the inquiry

Roseacre Wood Fracking Inquiry Day 1
Roseacre Wood Fracking Inquiry Day 2
Roseacre Wood Fracking Inquiry Day 3
Roseacre Wood Fracking Inquiry Day 4
Roseacre Wood Fracking Inquiry Day 5

Roseacre Wood Fracking Inquiry Day 6

30 replies »

  1. “This is not an industry that should be located in the countryside”!!!

    Well that puts an end to the 500 metre suggestion then. The industry legal teams will take these sort of comments apart. If not in the countryside, then where?

    And how are wind turbines and solar farms constructed in the countryside? Helicopters dropping them in, ready built?

    • More than 80 people to speak; I wonder if two thirds of them will be pro-fracking Martin, complete with their own green bottle?

    • The industry legal team represented here appears to be letting the majority of interested parties comments pass without question I am afraid Martin. That is to be expected as it doesnt look good trying to tear a strip of concerned members of the general public at inquiry, it’s bad PR 😉

    • ‘Mr Barron is a Conservative County Councillor in west Lancashire and a member of the council’s development control committee. He says the access to the site at Roseacre Wood is totally unsuitable.

      He says 44-tonne lorries drive down country lanes in his division to agricultural packhouses. The lanes have been widened, resulting in subsidence on the verges, leading to heavy goods vehicles overturning. The HGVs also cause potholes’.

      This is the presentation the inspector should take note of.
      Highlights are
      Conservative County Councillor, development control committee member
      44 tonne lorrries
      subsidence on the verges, leading to heavy goods vehicles overturning!

      I suggest the inspector drives along this ‘roller coaster’ stretch of road and it will illustrate the future for Roseacre and the surrounding areas if these Micky mouse plans go ahead.

      • Thanks Ruth for your comprehensive and detailed reporting, and to everyone who is taking part in putting their views forward on this contentious issue.

        Mr Barry Warner reports that the
        traffic consultants, Vectos, report, is inconsistent and subjective.
        Apologies for cutting and pasting from the above text:

        “The standards in the Cuadrilla documentation are unacceptable, Mr Warner says. The logic is perverse and conclusions are the opposite to those the facts suggest. The language is loaded, there are too many errors and some of the information is not credible.”

        Again, only a detailed digital survey and traffic analysis and vehicular modelling would reveal the true situation.
        At Drill Or Drop we have not seen the Vectos report, but it would perhaps be useful if it were to be made available, without going through the usual Cuadrilla paranoid secrecy and identity demands of course.

        Well, looking at it from a wider perspective, this inquiry into Cuadrilla’s Roseacre Wood fracking plans and TMP is revealing of many things.

        Not the least being that Cuadrilla have attempted to railroad (interesting word) the proposals for a TMP through the Roseacre Wood traffic inquiry with their usual, and by now familiar, arrogant and oversimplification of major issues, brush off attitude?

        Just reading through the local residents comments, a valuable resource, which must not and will not be silenced, something interesting emerges.

        That this public inquiry has shown one thing in particular.

        That the Cuadrilla HGV junction (in-junction?) and passing bay proposals fail utterly to address one simple and obvious fact.

        That a rural village location is neither suitable, nor capable of being transformed overnight, into a busy heavily trafficked industrialised development and is as such incapable of being subjected to heavy traffic in any way whatsoever.

        This of course also pertains to many such rural locations, and yet such remote rural locations seem to be preferred to brownsite or populated locations?

        One can only surmise from that, that the resulting opposition would be much more intense and the effects much more visible and would therefore illiminate them..

        So it seems that rural locations are sacrifice zones and local opposition is more scarce, simply because of it’s isolation?

        The local roads are only suitable for rural and residential and agricultural use, and are used for recreation, equine, pedestrian including school children, cyclists, also including school children, and local residents’ cars, the agricultural traffic all ready presents serious problems. Accidents are known, but curiously little reported?

        There are blind bends, tricky junctions with limited visibility, residential drives, soft verges, few if any viable passing bays, no traffic control measures, private land across proposed visibility splays and little forward visibility due to hedges, bushes, and overhanging trees.

        The roads are little more than inadequately resurfaced ancient rights of way, over which pedestrian and equine and agricultural traffic all ready are conflicted with such HGV’s that are used.

        HGV’s and LHV’s are far too heavy and wide and long for the present traffic use to bear. Verges are all ready being destroyed, road surfaces are all ready breaking up.

        Social and recreational use of rural roads is well established, children walking to school and social events, school traffic and special event traffic will be endangered and compromised to the point of endangering life and limb.

        What this boils down to, is that Roseacre Wood, like so many other rural sites, is totally unsuitable for industrial development, and an industry essentially invading the area and then demanding all sorts of modifications and conditions to deleteriously affect not just the local roads but the quietness and freedom to move without worse danger than all ready exists.

        And all just to accommodate a greedy profit motivated unessential industry is simply untenable and must not be allowed to proceed any further.

  2. The publics comments are a waste of time. They never factor into the final decision as they will always be biased.
    If it makes them feel better then so be it but it’s wasting tax payers cash.
    I don’t even bother reading them as it’ll be a copy and paste job.

    • The outcome of the previous inquiry and the previous inspectors report to the SoS would point to the fact you and Martin the sage are talking out of your hats (I purposely replaced the word I would have liked to use to protect your snowflake sensibilities 😂)

    • Dear me? So we can add the entire British public to your list of NME’s of the feeble fracking empire can we peeny?

      Anyone else you want to alienate?

      You must be running out of sections of the planet to rail against? Though there may be few corners of outer Mongolia you have not alienated yet?

      By the way, surely you are making a public comment aren’t you!

      So you have successfully invalidated your own public comment by your very own somewhat personal potty criteria!

      Well done! I don’t believe I have ever witnessed before anyone actually roundly contradicting their own opinion so comprehensively, in the very same post?

      Way to go! Round of one handed applause!

      • Phil C just wait until the PR offensive commences, Martin says it will have the whole country cheering the frackers on, I have a gut feeling the industry might need Devine intervention rather than a PR campaign.

        • Perhaps crembrule, the words PR and offensive are all ready being used on these pages?
          Unfortunately not in the right order?

          If these present anti anti posts are any indication of the coming offensive PR machine in action it has and will, backfire big time?

          The only cheering that will be going on, will be whilst watching them run away with their offensive PR tails between their legs?

          I shall enjoy a chuckle myself?

    • Never is a human voice a waste of time. If voices had not been heard in the past GBK, you would not be able to freely add your views on this blog or indeed the reporting of the event allowed. Count your blessings we have freedom of speech for a little while longer, at least.

  3. Well crembrule, perhaps you should ask why? Perhaps they are quite relaxed whilst the interested parties keep digging the hole? You do not need to “tear a strip” (off) when it is not required. It would just be overkill. Keep smiling, keep dragging in those lovely wooden horses-make sure you clean their hooves first, and remove any residue they leave on the roads around Lancashire.

    Your grasp of maths. has still not improved Sherwulfe. Two thirds not being against fracking is not the same as two thirds being pro-fracking.

    This has been pointed out to you several times already. Interested in facts or fiction? Silly question-you have answered that many times. But, please don’t change. You are helping to make the requirement for PR redundant.

    • ‘Two thirds not being against fracking is not the same as two thirds being pro-fracking.’ – hallelujah at last the man has holed his own argument!

  4. Education is a marvellous thing, crembrule. If you remember your education you don’t have a problem with a weak argument. If Sherwulfe did some simple mathematics and others were a little more aware of what is said, rather than what fits their mind-set, then they might find the antis don’t drop 10%. People do get fed up with being treated as if they are uneducated and willing to be forced to eat a fake diet.

    Must try harder.

    Some of us did.

    By the way, I have posted that in some respects I would be pleased if this site was rejected. I’m not sure that the antis are aware of the potential consequences, but that’s not my problem.

    • I’ll ignore the personal insults Martin but I will pick you up on your final point, if this site is rejected on the transport grounds currently being argued the consequence will be a significantly impact on site availability on the Fylde. Further more it’s is likely to put large swathes of countryside across the North with similar accessibility issues off ( that’s two f’s 😉) limits. Ultimately making financial viability of the industry even more difficult to achieve.

      Let’s hope both our wishes come true regarding Roseacre Wood 😊

  5. ‘All you are doing is annoying me, which will not help you, the inspector says.’
    Clearly this inspector is not objective.

    I’m sorry, although he has a right to question the relevance of the presentation any professional would NOT allow personal feelings to be demonstrated. He should have questioned the relevance of the comments to the inquiry when the presentation was complete. At that point both sides could have decided whether or not to take them into account.

    Additionally the reference to helping ‘you’ suggests he is on the other side of the fence and not impartial.

    There are many who have taken time and money to make these representations despite these mickey mouse plans being turned down twice.


    • Funny how he didn’t tell Cuadrilla’s lawyer she was annoying him when she alluded to protests and the policing thereof usn’t it? I’m not sure he’s really thought this one through.

    • I agree this Inspector is showing quite clear bias in favour of Cuadrilla and hostility to any that oppose their plans. His comments and especially switching off the microphone when Tina Rothery was speaking was disgraceful, arrogant and unprofessional.
      A further example was when Peter Collins gave his evidence and the Preston Western Distributor Road linking the M55 to the A 583 was discussed. On being shown a map of the road the Inspector told Cuadrilla, ” They’re halfway to building you a road.” An assumption of a fait accomplis if ever I heard one.

  6. Well done inspector! At last someone who recognises this is public money being wasted for someone’s individual ambition to create a different platform.
    Donald had a very apt phrase in the US elections. Clearly this inspector is not going to be bullied by threats of illegal activity being transported from one site to another. This sort of anti behaviour may have been the norm at PNR but should not be allowed, and wasn’t, within this environment.

    And then crembrule, you would have two inspectors contradicting each other regarding policy, the exploration company lawyers would pick up on this and demonstrate quite easily what we all know that the system is not fit for purpose and action would have to be taken to change it. That would actually benefit the exploration companies.
    If you keep looking at your feet you walk into the lamp-post.

  7. If this appeal is recommended for refusal by the current inspector how is that contradicting the previous inspectors recommendation for refusal? I know it’s early Martin but your statement makes no sense.

    The remainder of your post is all industry biased conjecture Martin, would you care to provide us mere mortals with actual facts relating to how the planning system is failing on this issue if NPPF is upheld?

    Applicants are aware of planning policy at a National and Local level and should make applications that comply and are appropriate. What you appear to be saying is that the rules should be changed merely because the applicants cannot abide by the rules. That doesn’t seem very democratic, more a shifting of the goal posts,

    • And Martin just to reaffirm my final point above I stumbled across this post you made recently on another thread –

      “Lot of horror from the antis regarding the legal process-which they have used (largely unsuccessfully) many times themselves. The law applies to everyone.”

      Does your statement apply to planning law in relation to industry players or just the criminal law when its being applied to protestors?

  8. crembrule-try reading before you reply. Fairly basic point. I said “two inspectors”, nothing about any previous inspector re. Roseacre. Maybe that doesn’t clarify the point for you. If not, then DYOR. I have previously referenced this situation and it is obvious to most.
    I did suggest the problem with gazing at your feet. None of these hearings are as isolated as you seem to imagine but part of a bigger picture. If an individual hearing falls outside the bigger picture then there will be impacts. (I have also stated I would not be adverse to seeing that.) There is no local UDI, in this regard.

    Anyway-good news. The swallows are back! First day I have seen them outside my window.

  9. Surprisingly Sherwulfe, I do check before I post. Don’t we all? Anyway, just happy some have managed to avoid the (slowly) whirling bird mincers off-shore.

    Like, I put my name to my posts but some who don’t, question whether I am a Tory MP, and seem to have a knowledge gap regarding who are Tory MPs. Now, that one is not really that difficult, is it? Mind you, at least Mrs. May bothers to check her facts and knows which party was in power in 2009, so doesn’t end up looking silly. Those are the sort of replies you mean, crembrule?

    • Oh, those poor little mites who obviously cannot see where they are going and crash into everything that is taller than themselves – are you sure they are not pigeons outside your house? – very adept at crashing into windows….

      Is your head buried in the sand-martin? Perhaps they ‘swiftly’ avoid the mirage unable to ‘swallow’ the rhetoric to get to your house-martin?

      Just for interest:
      Most migrating birds usually fly at a height of between 200 and 1,500 metres above sea level

      Swallows numbers are more affected by climate change and farming practices than bumping into man made machines……

      • p.s. After 20 years of owning a wind turbine, we have never lost a bird yet…in fact the swallows like to play on the machine on the rare occasion it is not turning…..

  10. Sherwulfe-quoting nonsense still doesn’t stop it being nonsense. Migrating birds fly over seas at a height dictated by the weather. In storms they are routinely forced down to sea level-ask any staff who operate on merchant ships.

    Maybe better to talk with people who know the subject rather than have a Giggle. Giggle is very limited. Widen your horizons, and you may enjoy the swallows.

    • My horizons are very wide thanks; don’t have giggle, well only THE giggles when you post stuff you have no idea about.

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