Residents’ shock over vehicle claim in fracking row

Barry Warner, from Roseacre Awareness Group, at Cuadrilla's event at Elswick Village Hall
Barry Warner, from Roseacre Awareness Group, at Cuadrilla's event at Elswick Village Hall
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An anti-fracking campaign group today said it was “dumbfounded” by claims made by an energy firm over traffic levels at a proposed test drilling site.

Roseacre Awareness Group, which was formed in the wake of Cuadrilla’s plans to test for shale gas at Roseacre Wood, near Elswick, has disputed the company’s estimates that between 35 and 145 heavy goods vehicles a day currently travel on roads near the site.

As part of its plans to do exploratory work there, Cuadrilla has had an environmental impact assessment carried out which produced the figures. But Roseacre group spokesman Barry Warner said: “This claim has dumbfounded local residents who feel the estimate is just not credible.

“The only way in which this figure could have been obtained is if Cuadrilla had mixed up Roseacre’s road with the M55. None of us would live here if this was what we had to endure.”

Fracking is the process of injecting liquid into the ground at high pressure to release the gas inside rock.

Cuadrilla hopes to find out whether it would be feasible to carry out the process at the site. It also has a test drilling site at Little Plumpton.

A Cuadrilla spokesperson said: “The emerging findings of the environmental impact assessment surveyed the favoured transport route from the A583, through Clifton, Salwick and Wharles and on to the proposed site at Roseacre Wood.

“The highest volume of HGVs, of 145 per day, was measured travelling through Clifton and are likely to be related to Westinghouse at Salwick.

“HGV movements vary along the route, on Roseacre Road the survey found the number of HGV movements was about 35 per day.

“If planning permission was granted, during the first two years of exploration we estimate the average number of HGV movements along the agreed route generated by the Roseacre Wood site would be approximately 14 per day.”