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.
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
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.