Lancashire fracking protests: Live updates from Preston New Road

Created by LEPEmma
On Oct 22, 2018
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The protest is now winding down and the road has reopened so we will end the live blog here. There will be a full report and photos from the day in Monday's paper

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Mr Blevins was greeted by a huge cheer and told the crowd: "The only reason we're not in prison now is because of people helping us out. The messages to us in prison really helped. Thank you all so much."

Simon Blevins, pictured, was joined at the rally by Richard Roberts and Rich Loizou after being released from Preston Prison on appeal earlier this week

A fifth mini earthquake has been registered in the Blackpool area in the early hours of this morning. After reports of four small earthquakes in the vicinity of the fracking site yesterday, the British Geological Survey reported a small quake at 3.44am today. The quake was 3km deep and registered at 0 magnitude.

Protestors at the Preston New Road site. Photo: Helen Rimmer

Organisers estimate around 1,000 people have turned out to the protest, as speeches get underway

Protestors at the site included the Lancashire Nanas group. Photo: Pete Fillery

The Ramsbottom anti-fracking group also travelled to the event. Photo: Pete Fillery

One of the organisers, John Hobson of Lytham, said he was delighted with the turn-out - and felt the tide was beginning to turn in their favour.
He said: "The cluster of five earthquakes in 24 hours which occurred after the fracking started here the other day tells its own story.
"Cuadrilla says that us normal but the scientific facts suggests otherwise.
 "Fracking isn't needed needed, it isn't wanted and it is time for Cuadrilla to pack up and go.
"We have already seen a number of pro-fracking MPs change their minds. 
"It is just a shame our own MP at Fylde.Mark Menzies, doesn't take the time to meet us. He's like the invisible man."

Fracking isn't needed, it isn't wanted and it's time for Caudrilla to pack up and go.

Protestor John Hobson, of Lytham

Buses are being diverted as protests increase at the fracking site.
One person travelling to Preston New Road reported "If using the 61 Stagecoach bus to the PNR get off at Westby crossroads as the bus is being diverted right to go via motorway."

John Ashton, the former special representative for Climate Change at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is now speaking and tells the crowd: "They cannot get their fracking by democratic means, so they are trampling on our democracy."

Motorists have been warned of long delays on the A583 near the fracking site. A spokesman for Fylde Police said: "The Contra Flow is still in place on the A583. Despite this there is a heavy back log of traffic and we would advise people to take an alternative route if possible."

Activists from anti-fracking groups from other parts of the country including North Yorkshire and Cheshire have also travelled to Lancashire today to join the protest.
Speakers have given the crowd updates on an application to frack at Ellesmere Port

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The road outside the fracking site - the A583 - is partially closed, with a contra flow in place. Police say they expect this to be in place until the afternoon and have warned drivers to expect delays

There an extra 200 officers on duty in Lancashire today, with many having had rest days cancelled to police the fracking protest along with the weekend's football fixtures

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As ever, fracking is dividing opinion here in Lancashire. Have your say on our Facebook page

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Speakers at the National Climate Crisis Rally include Friends of the Earth’s chief executive Craig Bennett, Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron and former special representative for Climate Change at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office John Ashton.
The protest is due to start at 11am.

Protests are planned again this morning at the Preston New Road site

Members of Frack Free Lancashire will be joined by NGOs, speakers, green groups, MPs and campaign groups from across the country at Little Plumpton this morning in a rally to highlight climate change.
It is also expected that the three anti-fracking protestors recently freed from Preston Prison will be there.
We'll be bringing you live updates throughout the morning.