Activists have blockaded the Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire on the day that fracking is due to begin for the first time in the UK for seven years.

PRESS RELEASE – Monday 15th October 2018, Preston New Road, Lancashire
Contact: 07771059790  // // Photos available here.

Activists respond to government’s “Green Great Britain Week” with fracking blockade.

Activists have blockaded the Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire on the day that fracking is due to begin for the first time in the UK for seven years.

The group from Reclaim the Power blockaded the site with a van during the early hours from 4.30am this morning. A scaffold structure was erected on top with a banner reading “Stop The Start. Don’t Frack the Climate”

The group said the action was to prevent the start of fracking and in response to the government’s ‘Green Great Britain Week’.

Charlie Edwards, from Reclaim the Power said:

“Today the government have launched their “Green Great Britain” week – a tokenistic attempt to hide a series of climate wrecking decisions such as expanding Heathrow airport and forcing fracking on the local communities.

After granting permission to frack earlier in the summer, last week Energy Minister had the hypocrisy to say there was “no excuse” for inaction on climate change. So we’re here today to stop the start of fracking, and show Claire Perry what real action on climate change looks like”.

After repeated delays, Cuadrilla had announced that fracking would commence over the weekend, after a legal intervention by local campaigner was dismissed. However their operations were halted again by extreme weather conditions during Storm Callum.

The action followed a call out from local residents for supporters to visit the site as fracking is due to commence. Around 40 people gathered in front of the blockade as it took position and could be heard cheering and chanting. More are expected to join throughout the morning.

Henry Owen, one of the people locked on, said:

“Claire Perry has referred to the opposition to fracking as a ‘travelling circus’, but the only joke here is Cuadrilla and the government thinking that fracking at Preston New Road is a win for the industry.

There’s no way that these companies will reach their requirements of thousands of wells when a single site has been met by this much local and national resistance. Fracking at Preston New Road is just a desperate attempt to snatch profit and save face as the industry dies. We know we’re winning and across the UK more people are still saying no to fracking”.

A report by Cardiff Business School concluded that about 6100 medium productivity wells would be required to cut gas imports by 50% from 2021-2035.

The blockade comes just weeks after three men were the first anti-fracking campaigners to be given a custodial sentence for a protest at the same site in July 2017. An appeal for their sentencing will be heard at the Royal Court of Justice on Wednesday 17th October.

Notes to Editor:

  1. Reclaim the Power is a Direct Action Network fighting for social, economic and climate justice.
  2. Start of Fracking Halted due to bad weather
  3. IPCC climate change report calls for urgent action to phase out fossil fuels
  4. Government on Climate Change to explore how to meet 1.5C goal
  5. UK fracking rules on earthquakes could be relaxed, says minister
  6. World leaders told they must act over climate change ‘cliff-edge’
  7. Fracking plans spark Conservative rebellion threat
  8. Anti-fracking activists jailed for ‘causing a public nuisance’ during four-day protest