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Tuesday, 06 September 2011 (3018394)
Fracking protests mount in Banks
by David Simister

TWO different groups have stepped up their campaigns this week against a company's controversial fracking operation in Banks.

Both Ribble Estuary Against Fracking and environmental group Transition Southport said this week they supported the campaigns against the drilling for shale gas - a process known as fracking - by Cuadrilla Resources, which was linked to tremors at another site in the Blackpool area earlier this year.

A spokesperson for Transition Southport said this week they opposed the drilling operations in Banks, saying in a statement:

“We are only too well aware of the urgent need for new forms of energy, but the current shale gas industry is neither clean nor sustainable, and will eventually run out. Even if we were to believe the industry’s assurances that their drilling and fracking techniques and blended chemicals are now completely free from all health, seismic and other environmental risks, the incoming and outgoing tanker traffic is a hazard in itself.

”If the current test well is successful, it will spawn dozens more sites across our area and nationally, each one creating ever heavier traffic, increasing pollution from emissions, and the ever present danger of a toxic collision with potentially devastating consequences for us all.“

Cuadrilla said in a statement earlier this week that it carried out extensive safety checks at its sites, used soundproofing to minimise the impact on nearby residents, and said its operations would invest as much as £1m into the local economy.

Another group opposed to the operation, Ribble Estuary Against Fracking, also told The Champion it had held another meeting to discuss the fracking, adding that it had come up with an action plan which will focus on raising awareness of local residents of the hazards of Fracking and on lobbying local authorities.

Doreen Stopforth, who lives very close to the fracking site at Bonny Barn Lane, said:

”We are already feeling frightening vibrations from the drilling on site, and fear for what the impacts would be if the site was fully operational. Also the large tankers going to and from the site are a real hazard on our small rural roads. The exit from the site is on a blind bend with a history of incidents.“

”I dread to think what might happen if a tanker carrying toxic waste from the site was involved in a crash.“


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