UPDATE: Road remains closed due to anti-fracking protest

The A583 remains closed by police as protesters rally against the Preston New Road fracking site continue.

The road was closed to traffic in both directions between Whitehills and Fox Lane Ends at around 9.30am as four pairs of anti-fracking campaigners locked on in both carriageways by Moss House Lane and Westby Road.

Police cleared two pairs of protesters, however, more protesters took their place and locked on further down the road towards Kirkham.

Campaigners remain at the scene.

A police spokesman posted on social media: “The eight campaigners are now again on both sides of the carriageway - one of the pairs at the Whitehills end is claiming to be superglued together and the other is saying they want to be cut out rather than self-release.

“We’ve also attempted to speak to the two new pairs at the Kirkham end at the road but they are also refusing to move voluntarily and have said they don’t care if blue light or other essential services can’t get through.

“So far today, we have managed to facilitate a small number of essential journeys for local people, but we want to be clear that it is absolutely not safe to allow through traffic and the A583 must remain closed until the campaigners decide to self-release or we clear them.

“This is having a huge impact on both local businesses and residents, but we trust people understand that the carriageway must remain shut as our first priority remains the safety of everyone concerned.”

Businesses on Preston New Road and Moss House Lane are open as usual.

People who have difficulty accessing businesses or homes have been advised to speak to police at the scene.

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