Road closure at West Newton drilling site extended up to 18-months, residents told

190613 West Newton uwoc 3

Road closure at West Newton, 13 June 2019. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

Residents in East Yorkshire say they’ve been told the county council has extended a three-week road closure at an oil and gas site north of Hull to 18 months.

Earlier this week East Riding of Yorkshire Council closed two roads leading to Rathlin Energy’s West Newton exploration site.

That closure blocked Pipers Lane and Fosham Road to all but essential vehicles. DrillOrDrop report

Asked to explain the reason, the council told a local resident:

“For health and safety reasons and because the residents of High Fosham were, by the actions of the protesters, who had been responsible for 11 road closures, being prevented from having access to their homes.”

There have been a series of protest actions in the past fortnight, including lock-ons and lorry surfing.

A meeting of the West Newton site community liaison group this week heard that the road had been closed at the request of Rathlin Energy.

It also heard that an 18-month closure may be applied for. By the time one resident asked the council for more details, he said he was told by an official that the closure had been agreed.

He said he was told the extended closure would begin on 1 July 2019.

Yesterday, a local farmer was refused access to his land near the West Newton site.

BBC Radio Humberside reported that Ron Jagger was turned away by security staff. He said the council should have consulted people before blocking local roads. A spokesperson for Rathlin Energy said the company would speak to its security staff.

Council statement

Update: On 14 June, East Riding of Yorkshire Council said in a statement:

“On Monday 10 June the council, by notice in accordance with section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, put in place a temporary traffic order prohibiting persons from proceeding whether on foot, pedal cycle or on horseback or causing any vehicle from proceeding along the full extents of Pipers Lane, Marton, and Fosham Road, Withernwick, together with parts of Burton Constable footpath 1 and Aldbrough footpaths  9 and 18. 

“The period of restriction under the notice is 21 days from the date of the notice. 

“The council is intending to put in place a temporary traffic regulation order for the same area to start on Monday 1 July 2019.  The order will initially be for six months but may be extended to up to 18 months, in respect of Pipers Lane/Fosham Road only.

“The reason for the closure is because the council is satisfied traffic on the road should be restricted because works are being carried out near the road and because of the likelihood of danger to the public or of serious damage to the road, which is not attributable to such works. 

“The roads will remain open at all times for pedestrian and vehicular access to properties directly affected by the closure and for the emergency services.

“Rathlin Energy (UK) Ltd asked East Riding of Yorkshire Council to consider introducing traffic orders, which the council has agreed to put in place for the reasons stated above.”

Target depth reached

190613 West Newton uwoc

View of the West Newton site from neighbour’s home, 13 June 2019. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

The community liaison group also heard that the well being drilled at West Newton had reached the target depth of 2060m.

The well, the second at the site, is exploring the Cadeby and Kirkham Abbey formations for both oil and gas.

It was reported that a wireline log of the lower parts of the well had been taken and sent for analysis. The rest of the well casing would now be installed.

It was also reported that the rig at the site would be demobilised in the next 10-12 days. This would be followed by a period of low levels of activity at the well site.

40 replies »


  2. Seems that these road closures suit the frackers not the environment protectors who no longer are able to monitor the frackers dubious activities unlike at PNR!

    The feeble excuses used to justify the closures thereby causing major inconvenience to local residents and businesses remind me of the actions of Lancashire Constabulary who regularly closed off the main Preston New Road at the flimsiest excuse and blamed the environment and community protectors!

    • Frackers Peter? Have you not learnt anything over the past few years? West Newton fracking? Environment protectors? Benefits fraudsters?

      • I’ve learnt lots since Cuadrilla came to Lancashire thanks Paul.

        Last event at West Newton was fracking, no reason to think this will not end up the same way if it continues.

        Not likely though as all fossil fuel extraction is doomed to failure very shortly or we’re all doomed!

        • “Last event at West Newton was fracking, no reason to think this will not end up the same way if it continues.”

          Wow Peter. I am surprised DOD haven’t reported this?

          Back on planet earth:

          “It was reported that a wireline log of the lower parts of the well had been taken and sent for analysis. The rest of the well casing would now be installed.”


        • ‘Fracking’ is used by the protesters to try and perk the attention of gullible elderly into donating cash to their cause. They know fine well this is a conventional well but conventional doesn’t have the black mark against it to draw attention. Those poor soles that they try and fleece money from know very little about drilling and only know what they read in the local and national press and they think they are donating to a group of lovely people when in fact they are being lied to and manipulated. If you’re in doubt go to the West newton gateway to the gas fields alt site on facebook where they do a very good job of calling out these individuals on their blatant lies and most of the evidence gathered is recorded by the protesters themselves but as the live streams are days and sometimes weeks apart they like most liars forget what lies they have told and contradict themselves. Do not donate cash to these people it is very unlikely to be used for good and from what I can tell is used to fill their cars and vans with diesel so they can travel round the country.

          • David Oswald Fracking or conventional. It’s all fossil fuel and West Newton is a blot on the landscape that will be the first of many if the industry gets it’s way. As far as “manipulating” the public for monetary gain, on what evidence do you base this accusation? I’m surprised and disappointed that this unfounded slur hasn’t been moderated.

            • There are already a number of those “blots” on the UK landscape Pauline, and many locals are unaware of those “blots” and many more, who are, find them good neighbours and very appreciative of maintaining the local environment-with some enhancing it via financial support.

              But, I thought it a major point from the antis that such sites should be within the landscape rather than near to buildings?

              • Martin. Where do you get the idea that “antis” believe such sites should be within the landscape rather than near to buildings?” I think you’ll find antis believe these sites should not exist at all and there certainly shouldn’t be any further sites.

                • Well, Pauline, I seem to remember a great deal of time wasted on a debate about distance from property. Was it Yorkshire? Now, I know that was fracking, but if it was not the issue why waste time on it? (I seem to remember a mystical figure of 500m.)

                  But, as the largest oil field in EUROPE is in very special countryside in the UK, and has been operating for many years, and is not a blot and is not a problem to the locals, it seems the reality is something you would rather ignore and make up illusions. Equally, the locals at KM had no problem with gas fields in their location that had operated for many years, until the issue was stirred up by the antis.

              • Mr Collyer:
                Re: “Well, Pauline, I seem to remember a great deal of time wasted on a debate about distance from property. Was it Yorkshire? Now, I know that was fracking, but if it was not the issue why waste time on it? (I seem to remember a mystical figure of 500m.)”

                You seem to be suggesting this is an Either/Or situation. Well, no.
                1. Distance from buildings is legitimate concern, so it was not time wasted.
                2. Well sites in the countryside are also a legitimate concern. See DEFRA’s unredacted report on the effects on rural economies.
                3. “Mystical figure of 500m”? No it is an actual figure. Why do you pepper your posts with such emotive adjectives like ‘mystical’? You are a very silly person.

                • And you David are very judgemental! But, you act as you want and others will do what they want. Seems fair.

                  Yep, the rural economy around Poole looks pretty concerning! You are a very uniformed person who believes others are also.

                  So, if there is a desire for wells to be a certain distance from buildings they will very likely be sited in rural locations. Seems fair. No different to a pig farm-except for the restriction of where the oil/gas underground may be found.

            • Pauline Jones

              What is a blot on the landscape can be in the eye of the beholder I guess. I think that gas sites and the odd nodding donkey look fine, and you have to be close up to them to see them when not drilling or doing a work over.

              Others have been concerned about wind farms and solar panel farms. The former clearly visible for Miles other than when foggy, the latter not so, unless built on an escarpment.

              Here are some examples


              The Bilsthorpe wind farm is up and running, I am glad to say


              Likewise the Rainworth wind farm is up and running, despite fears that a geological fault, undisturbed for 198 Million years and a fair amount of mining, would reactivate from the turbines vibration ( if not the ‘massive’ vibrations caused by piling ).

              I think that we have a lot more blots to build if we believe in local energy and other activities, which is fine by me.

              Meanwhile a walk around an old oilfield is a good way to see how they blend into the landscape. I look forwards to the windfarm and solar farm walk ( yet to come as all on private land with keep off signs ).


              So West Newton is one of a few, and given the paucity of conventional onshore oil and gas finds, likely to remain a few.

            • Here is the evidence Pauline [edited by moderator]. I removed the account number for obvious reasons.
              Alan Story Flashed this message across 8 FB groups in our area: +++++++
              The campaigners at West Newton in East Yorkshire now have a bank account…and need supplies.
              DONATIONS MOST WELCOME ( if you have a spare tenner)
              Name: West Newton Monitoring Station
              Account Number: ********
              Sort code: 05-02-37
              Hide or report this
              West Newton Gateway to the Gas Fields
              West Newton Gateway to the Gas Fields
              Pay for their smoking
              Pay for new equipment as they didn’t look after their own : And yesterday our wifi got whacked in a rain storm been trying to dry it out but looks like we need a new unit.
              Pay for them to hang about and insult our Police officers
              Pay for their shopping, one list of many. We do have a small wish list of anyone can help…
              – salt and pepper
              – Mayonnaise
              – Oat milk
              – Fire wood
              – Peppers
              – Garlic
              – Other veg
              – Bacon
              – Vegan spread
              – 400+ people to shut the site down
              – Milk
              – Cutlery
              – Plates
              – Coconut milk
              Pay to maintain their vehicles
              Ross Monaghan
              28 May at 10:39 ·
              PERSONAL APPEAL – Please help keep me campaigning.
              I need to raise some funds! I need to replace at least one tyre on my van and collect some money for fuel to go get some protectors from around the country who are struggling to get here. Plus I could do with a few personal items.
              I am looking to raise a couple of hundred if I am honest. I am happy to do a days work here and there if anyone had anything around East Yorkshire.
              Or do you have a little holiday cottage you can lend me for a few days when this site is done?
              If you can help please pm me thank you all for your previous and ongoing support in the fight against the fossil fuel industry!
              [Comment edited by moderator]

              • I’m surprised the protectors need anything. After all, according to the pro frackers, they are all being paid handsomely by the Russians. Or is it Greenpeace this week, or maybe Friends of the Earth. I’ve heard it all. I’ve been told I’m getting £90 per day. I’m a local who has been protesting at PNR for the past 3 years. My roubles must have been lost in the post.
                As far as West Newton is concerned, I’ve visited a couple of times and I can tell you the protectors I met
                are certainly not living a life of luxury.
                Regarding the elderley gentleman you mention. I have no knowledge of this, however I’m sure he would have a choice what he decided to do with his money. The general public in this country have no such choice. The government subsidise the fossil fuel industry to the tune of millions. That’s our money they are giving away whether we agree or not.

                • Pauline, I know what you mean about stories and rumours which is why I look at the evidence from the people themselves. It is an insult to our real hero’s in the armed forces past and present to associate names like protectors to this group as I see them completely differently as do most of society. WN has not had more than a few people there at a time if the general public was on their side by large they have had many opportunities to go to the site on an event day and protest but the truth is they aren’t as this is a conventional site and most know it is. These people are not living a life of luxury I agree but they are getting by through begging on social media [edited by moderator] as they seem to spend too much time in WN where they are not registered living to have a regular job. Ross for example runs a van and can travel the country not many unemployed people can afford that and have the luxury to smoke also. Regarding where our government chooses to invest for return is not the topic we have a democratic system to choose what is right for the country as a whole and as far as I am aware the green party are quite a way off taking government at the next election which is further evidence of the general feeling towards the continuation of fossil fuel usage in the U.K. while we work towards infrastructure for a sustainable future. You are more than likely to come back at me now about the impending disaster awaiting us all, to save you the bother here is a quick summary of what you are likely to tell me and see how many you spot that are banded about 50 years ago.

                • Pauline, if you are a local living near to PNR you will have been offered money by Cuadrilla. So, nothing to worry about for you.

                  Those fossil fuel “subsidies”;

                  You mean, frozen duty on petrol and diesel since 2011.
                  VAT on domestic gas and electricity 5% instead of 20%.
                  Winter fuel allowance for pensioners and bus passes.

                  Whilst ONE off-shore wind farm is being paid £500m every year more than it should. On shore wind turbines were getting £150k each per year even when the electricity was not required.

                  But, of course, you can always follow delayed reaction and commit to a green tariff, and unlike him, go for an electric vehicle. But, when solar panel subsidies were cut new installations fell by 94%, so it seems renewable energy tends to be very reliant upon subsidies whereas fossil fuels not so.
                  UK industrial electricity prices have moved to 28% more expensive than the average for a Western economy since 2010. So, as we de-industrialise and we import steel we used to manufacture, that steel is manufactured often using coal, so global emissions increase as UK de-industrialises. Dieter Helm, professor of energy policy at Oxford, spoke about this on BBC Today last week. Very interesting that our de-industrialisation will produce the opposite effect to what is claimed. What happens over the horizon is important within global emissions.

                • How did you get all that way to West Newton, a couple of times, Pauline?

                  Obviously you only believe some of the proposals regarding climate change and personal actions.

                  So, why so against some of us who do take other personal action but simply disagree with your equally limited personal action? Perhaps you could explain to employees at British Steel and Ford Bridgend?

  3. Margaret

    That must be a wind up or a diversion from the above posts?

    Or, if you say something often enough ( in capitals ), does it make Rathlin a company interested in fracking?

  4. As this “misconception” has been corrected in the past, hewes62, I suspect it is your second suggestion.

  5. Perhaps the reason for the road closure has now been shown!

    Obviously there for the long term as Christmas tree has been delivered.

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