Regulation

Rathlin seeks second 18-month road closure around West Newton-B well site

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.

Closure on road to West Newton B, 6 November 2020. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

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.

Extract of letter from Caroline Foster, Rathlin Energy, May 2021

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.

Security staff at West Newton-B road closure, 6 November 2020. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent.

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.

7 replies »

  1. The road closures are needed to stop activists harasssing site staff [edited by moderator]

      • Paul, although the company doesn’t mention activists and states that the measures are necessary to reduce incidents regarding safety on the roads surrounding the site. People living near are very much aware of the nature of protest activities that have been used and are once again been threatened, the outcome of recent court cases and that the same reason of “reducing safety incidents on roads surrounding the site” was also given by the council, police and Rathlin for eviction of the activists from Pasture Lane and Fosham Road.

  2. Interesting to get the local context of such announcements, John. Thanks for that.

  3. The mark of a true independent journalist, removing and editing posts to support their agenda, just showing yourself up.

  4. Just think of the benefits to the environment. Roads closed, less wear. Less need for new tarmac!

    I recall many antis complaining about increased traffic causing a safety risk. Cake and eat it? Or, just incoherent?

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