Anti-fracking protests set to be stepped up

Protests at the Preston New Road site
Protests at the Preston New Road site

Anti-fracking campaigners have promised to stage “an unprecedented month of resistance” on the Fylde.

Tomorrow, Reclaim the Power is launching Rolling Resistance in Lancashire as fracking company Cuadrilla prepares to start drilling at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton.

What happens at Preston New Road is a litmus test for the future prospects of the whole fracking industry

The Rolling Resistance will see creative and disruptive actions against fracking every single working day through the month of July.

Reclaim the Power’s previous actions have included anti-fracking action camps in Blackpool and at Didcot Power station, two weeks of action targeting the fracking industry’s supply chain this April, and shutting down the UK’s largest open cast coal mine in Wales in 2016.

A spokesman said: “What happens at Preston New Road is a litmus test for the future prospects of the whole fracking industry. ”

Meanwhile, a YouGov survey of Lancashire residents for Friends of the Earth released in full today reveals that 54 per cent of people still believe fracking to be unsafe.

It is two years this week since Lancashire County Council rejected a fracking planning application, a decision that was appealed against and then over-turned by central government.

Almost three in four people polled think that Lancashire County Council should have the final say on fracking applications.

Fifty-four per cent said they thought fracking was unsafe.

Seventy-three per cent thought that Lancashire County Council should have the final say about whether fracking goes ahead. Sixty six per cent are concerned about the impact of fracking on Lancashire’s natural environment; and 66 per cent are opposed to fracking within five miles of where they live.

A Cuadrilla spokesmansaid: “People have a right to lawful protest which we respect. That said, professional activists, under instruction from London-based Reclaim the Power, have a track record of both preventing businesses carrying out their lawful work and of seriously disrupting Lancashire commuters.”