The Yorkshire Post’s Alexandra Wood has reported that EP UK Investments has submitted plans to North Yorkshire Council to extract up to one million tonnes a year of fly ash from the closed coal-fired Eggborough and Ferrybridge C power stations. That will mean as many as 260 lorry movements a day along Cobcroft Lane and Whitefield Lane then north on the A19 to the M62.
Whitley Parish councillor Tim Woodhead said that the A19 through the village is busy enough. To put another 260 HGV vehicles just seems ridiculous. He added that an alternative route could add an extra six miles depending which way they were heading.
The parent of a child at the local primary school said: “We are saying don’t transport it via HGVs and past our primary school.
“It’s going to be one HGV every three minutes and they are planning to do it for 25 years. It is my daughter and her children, who will be breathing in the fumes”. The extra traffic would cause an increase in the emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases and particulates.
The Commercial Boat Operators Association (CBOA) – representing freight barge operators – points out that the alternative to lorries can be the use of barges each carrying 500 tonnes.
The Gale Common Ash Disposal site is close enough to the Aire & Calder Navigation that a conveyor belt can be used to take the ash which would then be loaded direct into large bins on a flat-bed pontoon barge. This happens in Belgium.
After hearing the CBOA proposal, the Yorkshire Post reported in June that:
The CBOA’s offer to discuss the barge option in detail has been rejected by the developers, EP Investments; they say they will only discuss matters after planning permission has been granted.
The CBOA says that will be too late. They argue that the planning authority should have a detailed analysis of the road and water transport options before making a decision.
David Lowe, CBOA’s chairman said, “We think recycling this enormous ash pile is a good concept. The green thinking behind that needs to be applied to also produce a green transport solution. The owners’ attitude forces us to ask the planners to make sure we have a discussion which can make a drastic difference to the lives of local people”.