Rathlin Energy has confirmed it is seeking to extend road closures around its West Newton-B oil and gas site in East Yorkshire until autumn 2022.
A previous closure order has been in place around the site since January 2020 and is due to expire on 6 July 2021. It affects Pasture Lane, Flinton and Engine Lane and Crook Lane.
Rathlin Energy’s operations engineer, Caroline Foster, told Humbleton Parish Council that the company would apply for an order for a further 18 months.
Ms Foster said:
“The roads shall only be closed during operations when deemed necessary. It is not our intention to close the roads for the full 18 months. Furthermore, if the roads can be kept open without undue risk to road users, then we shall endeavour to continue our operations as originally intended without closing the roads.”
She said the roads would remain open to emergency services at all times and to residents and businesses needing access to properties.
The original order had been approved by East Riding of Yorkshire Council for “the purpose of public safety while works are being carried out near the roads”.
At the time, a council spokesperson said the order had been granted “because of the likelihood of danger to the public, or serious damage to the roads, not attributable to the work”.
The order covered all traffic, including any vehicle, cycles, ridden horses and pedestrians.
Ms Foster said the first road closure had had “the desired effect” and “incidents regarding the safety on the roads surrounding the site were greatly reduced”. She made no reference to protests against the company’s operations.
Last month (April 2021), East Riding council issued a separate 18-month closure order for two roads near Rathlin Energy’s other local site, West Newton-A. This was the third closure around that site.
Rathlin Energy is the only UK onshore oil and gas company to have made continuing applications for road closures around its sites.