Regulation

Horse Hill lorries to be ordered to “stay in lane”

Horse Hill tanker entering site UWOC

Tanker crossing onto opposite carriageway to enter Horse Hill site. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

Lorries delivering to the Horse Hill oil site in Surrey will be told not to cross the central white line of the road as they pull into the entrance.

The “stay in lane” policy is a key ruling in the transport and traffic management plan for the site, submitted recently by the main investor, UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG).

Opponents of operations at Horse Hill have said many heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) delivering to the site crossed the central line and were a potential hazard to other road users.

Some say it is not possible for an HGV to enter the site without crossing onto the other carriageway.

UKOG requires HGVs to approach Horse Hill from the south. Video and still photographs have recorded how HGVs swing out onto the opposite carriageway.

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UKOG said it had evidence to show that “large HGV movements will no longer be required to swing out into the opposite carriageway to access the site”.

It said it had commissioned consultants to carry out a swept path analysis – a calculation of the movement and path of different parts of a vehicle when it does a turning manoeuvre.

Horse Hill swept path analysis UKOG

Swept path analysis commissioned by UKOG. Source: UKOG transport and traffic management plan

UKOG said the swept path analysis showed:

“the [site] access can accommodate a 16.5m articulated vehicle  turning into the site without requiring both sides of the carriageway to do so  (swing out)”.

Surrey County Council must approve the traffic management plan before UKOG can begin long-term oil production at Horse Hill. The approved plan was a condition of the planning permission granted in September 2019, which also allowed for drilling four extra production wells at Horse Hill.

The traffic management plan also said there would be contingency measures in case protests delayed HGV deliveries.

Opponents of operations at the site have previously walked in front of vehicles, climbed on top of lorries and locked themselves together in front of the entrance.

UKOG said the contingency measures would prevent vehicles queuing on the road outside the site and back to the junction with the A217.

The plan proposed HGV holding areas in local lorry parks, where vehicles could wait to be called to the well site.

There could also be traffic controls at the A217 junction so that site vehicles would not have to give way, the plan suggested.

A Surrey County Council public consultation on the traffic management plan runs until 30 January 2020. Link to details.

45 replies »

    • On the contrary Simon, Surrey County Council are telling UKOG to comply with their own provided swept path analysis. Just as they would with any other industrial development, regardless of whether it be fossil fuel development, or renewable development or any other industrial development of any other description.

      Surrey County Council are perhaps aware that the swept path analysis will not work in practice, so they are laying down the gauntlet to make UKOG prove that such an idealised digital manoeuvre is possible in the real world.
      As I said previously the fact that an exiting swept path analysis is not provided is also telling. Because perhaps providing both would indicate that the road width does not allow two such similar vehicles to pass eachother.

      Perhaps an overlay of both the entering and the exiting swept path tracks would illustrate something that UKOG do not want to be seen.

      1. The provided report states that the road is approximately 5.5m wide and will allow for two vehicles to pass eachother. However it can be clearly seen from the plan that a 2.5m wide 16.5m long articulated vehicle already takes up more than its own lane width. Hence the road is not “approximately 5.5m wide” as stated in the location of the entrance/exit. It’s more like 4.8m wide. A passing vehicle of the same width or greater would not be able to do so without either or both vehicles taking a swing out into the adjacent verge with all the dangers that would entail or pass elsewhere where there is a passing bay long enough to accommodate one vehicle.

      2. It is interesting that the exiting swept path is not provided. The report states that “The egress routes from the site will be the same as above but in reverse.” That is clearly untrue not to mention bizarre and lazy. The exiting vehicle will not reverse trailer first against oncoming traffic into the same lane. The exiting swept path would cross the lane and return southwards on the opposite lane. That is not the reverse of the provided swept path analysis at all. Perhaps the reason the exiting swept path is not provided is that it could be easily seen that two such vehicles could not pass eachother on the available lane widths. UKOG should provide both entering and exiting swept paths and show two such vehicles passing eachother, not just the entering swept path alone.

      3. The rules are not “silly” they are a statuary requirement to the traffic management department of Surrey County Council in order to prove that an entering and exiting vehicle can indeed follow the swept path analysis and stay in one lane in doing so. The stated swept must be proveable in the real world not just on a digital autotrack. That is not prohibitive where the swept path is possible in the real world. However indicating that such a track is possible when clearly it is not, is an attempt at disinformation. What Surrey County Council are instructing UKOG is to prove that their idealised autotrack is indeed possible in the real world. Hardly a “Draconian” requirement.

      The request is not “silly” at all, nor is it prohibitive, it is merely requiring that UKOG prove they can put their theoretical swept path analysis into practice, and that such a vehicle can remain in its own lane and not swing over the opposite lane when entering the site.

      That is hardly a condition that UKOG should be unable to prove since it was their swept path analysis that indicates that it is possible.

  1. More trouble causing from the opponent’s of UKOG .A very desperate attempt like a school boy telling tales.Maybe those concerned should turn their attention to the fools who stood outside the gates on a dark winters night and the hazard that was.But let’s not report [edited by moderator] or their swampy friends who live at the side of the road in wood huts.Drildroo as ever totally biased and of no relevance [edited by moderator]

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