Company duped into delivering drill to Lancashire site declares boycott of entire fracking industry
A HAULAGE firm has “blacklisted” a fracking site in Lancashire after it “unknowingly” delivered drilling equipment to gas exploration company Cuadrilla.
L&M Transport, which is based in Grimsby in Lincolnshire, says it will make no more deliveries to Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road, near Blackpool — or any other fracking site.
The firm claims that when it took the order to make the delivery it did not know the destination was a fracking site, and that had it known it would have refused.
The site has been targeted for months by anti-fracking groups which oppose the energy extraction method because they say it could pollute water supplies and the atmosphere, and industrialises the countryside.
L&M Transport said in a statement yesterday: “We unknowingly took on to deliver a load to north-west England which turned out to be supplies for the fracking industry company Cuadrilla.
“This load was undertaken through a third party and if we had known this delivery was for the company Cuadrilla and to be used in the questionable fracking industry we quite simply would not have become involved.”
The haulage firm added that it would never work for Cuadrilla or any other companies involved in fracking again.
Claire Stephenson from Frack Free Lancashire which protests at the site welcomed L&M Transport’s decision to boycott the fracking industry.
“It is also very noteworthy that many of these haulage companies and suppliers are unaware that they are delivering to such sites,” she said.
“Is the fracking industry now resorting to employing contractors and haulage firms by stealth, in order to operate?”
Ms Stephenson pointed out that this is not the first time a firm has unknowingly delivered drills to fracking sites.
Bryn Thomas Cranes, of Flint in Wales, said it had been instructed to deliver to football club AFC Fylde and was redirected from there to the Cuadrilla site.
It withdrew its equipment from the site before it could be used.
Anti-fracking protesters had managed to delay the delivery of the drill last week for three days. One activist was arrested after he had clambered onto the roof of the lorry’s cab and remained there for hours.
But Cuadrilla finally managed to sneak in the equipment at 4.45am on Thursday morning, prompting anger from protesters. The firm admitted that the timing of the delivery was to avoid the “recently increasingly aggressive protest activity” at the site.
Lancashire City Council, which had refused planning permission to Cuadrilla, only for it to be overturned by the Tories last year, confirmed that the overnight delivery is under investigation as it took place outside permitted hours.
Cuadrilla did not respond to the Star’s request for comment at time of going to press.