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Underground tunnels could ‘fill with gas’

Mark Singleton on Dock Street
Mark Singleton on Dock Street

A former Fleetwood man has echoed fears about the dangers of possible gas migration in respect of a huge gas storage scheme which will begin on the edge of town in January.

Mark Singleton, a Presall resident who grew up in Fleetwood, fears the port’s old cattle run tunnels, which he says many people do not know exist, could prove a dangerous reservoir for gas, should it migrate.

Halite Energy is planning to store 900 million cubic metres of gas in salt caverns under River Wyre.

Construction work is due to start after the New Year but preparatory surveys have already started in Preesall.

Although drilling work will occur over in Preesall, some port residents point out that the storage caverns are effectively halfway across to Fleetwood

Mr Singleton said: “It worries me that should there be any migration of gas, these tunnels could pose real problems.

“I don’t want to scare monger, but we would be right to be worried and put every pressure on Halite regarding safety.

“If the gas got into those tunnels it does not bear thinking about. Fleetwood is sitting right on top of this thing.”

He has old newspaper reports about the tunnels, which run from the seafront, past the North Euston and Pharos lighthouse, down Dock Street and up to the Asda car park.

He says the Dock Street tunnel is high enough to take a double decker bus.

But Halite said: “Gas has been stored safely in the UK in underground rock salt caverns for decades and is a worldwide industry.

“Brand new caverns will be created over 300 metres below ground in the salt at Preesall and extensive testing has been undertaken to understand the geology there.

“Safety is paramount to Halite and the work will be assessed and monitored by the Health & Safety Executive under the Control of Major Hazards regulations.”