Blowing your horn for and against fracking

Brian Morrison, anti-fracking campaigners and how we broke the story.
Brian Morrison, anti-fracking campaigners and how we broke the story.
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Commuter Brian Morrison attracted the attention of the police after he honked his car horn in support of protesters alongside the A583. The story sparked an extremely lively debate among readers

There is nothing more divisive among our readers than the topic of fracking.

Any story we run on the issue at the Preston New Road site attracts wildly conflicting views on the process, the roadside protests and the police presence.

Anti-frackers often clash on forums with people frustrated by the number of protests on the A583 which have led to the road being closed on several occasions.

So when a commuter said he had been threatened with arrest and a police charge for honking his car horn in support of the anti-frackers, it was bound to spark another lively debate.

And so it did!

Brian Morrison, 47, from Blackpool has made an official complaint saying that he was shouted at and threatened with arrest after beeping to support campaigners.

Lancashire Police said it had received the complaint. It is believed the officer involved was from out of the county, perhaps from Cumbria.

While some accused the police of being overly-aggressive to those who honk their support, others said Mr Morrison should have been arrested for breaking the law.

Here’s a range of your comments

A car horn is fitted for safety. To alert other motorists or pedestrians of your presence if they are not aware. Its not a Greenpeace support device.

- Tom Wagstaffe

I don’t get this, it was OK to support the fire brigade by beeping your support during the strikes, but not anti-frackers. It shows that the police are only there to adminster the government’s wishes.

- Douglas McCann

But the fire brigade isn’t costing police half a million a month.

- Harley Neish

It’s not even a built up area so the only people it’s annoying is the police.

- Steph Courtnage

There is a law dating back to when the first motorised vehicles hit the dirt roads, that they “must sound the horn if they see a pedestrian on the sidewalk (I use that term as there wasn’t pavements back then)so that said pedestrian knew the vehicle was there and prevent them from moving into its path. This law is essentially still in force today.

- Caroline Higson

They say they are concerned about the noise yet they’re happy for Cuadrilla to deliver huge parts at 4am in convoys of lorries, which I’m sure is far more of a noise disturbance.

- Andrew Temple

So the protesters complain about the fracking noise but ask you to beep and make louder unnecessary noise.

- Mark Smith

The police today act like a secret army for the oppression of the freedom of the individual. Under the command of Freemasons they want a subservient obedient servant caste to obey unthinking the commands of the Grand Masters in power positions such as Parliament.

- Derek Ashworth

I drive through that herd with my eyes firmly shut, so they know I am not supporting their actions.

- Margaret Kelly

Pretty sure that driving with your eyes shut is not a good idea.

- Nick Danby

They can arrest him for beeping this horn, but they can’t arrest the ‘Frackers’ for blocking the road day after day. It’s all just a joke to most of them anyway, everytime you pass they’re dancing around.

- Kayleigh Rance

I beep when driving past and will continue to.

- Sara Weir

The only beeping allowed should be to alert protesters to get off the middle of the road where they cause a risk to themselves and others. I don’t agree with criticism of the police. They do a good job and have had to deal with some irresponsible acts by some of the protesters.

- Chris Up

I’d beep to show support, but I’d be afraid the protesters may think it was for them.

- Loz Guttridge

The fracking is happening whether we like it or not now. The protesters are only going to slow the progress down a tiny bit. They need to move on now.

- Tes Snelson

We actually saw a car in front of us being pulled to one side and the driver was given a right rollocking off the copper for tooting his horn.

- Lorraine Fox

I’ll keep beeping also. Lancashire said no!

- Adele White

Surely that part of Preston New Road is not a “built-up area”? Many people want to show support for the protesters and this seems like a small way to do that.

Police need to be careful they are not becoming partisan, they are there to keep the peace and protect the public, nothing more.

- Paula Lucas

He’s using his horn illegally, so arrest and fine him.

- Frederick Unrau