Villagers fear for child health as ash from ex-power plants in Yorkshire moved

Parents are worried about hundreds of HGVs passing the village school
Parents are worried about hundreds of HGVs passing the village school
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Villagers are up in arms over plans which could see hundreds of heavy goods vehicles a day carrying ash past a primary school and homes.

People living in Whitley, near Selby, claim developers have not taken on board their concerns and are hoping for a big turnout at a meeting on Tuesday.

Gale Common took ash from Eggborough and Ferrybridge C coal-fired power stations for 50 years

Gale Common took ash from Eggborough and Ferrybridge C coal-fired power stations for 50 years

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, which has been stored on a 300-hectare site at Gale Common since 1967.

Currently it has permission to extract up to 30,000 tonnes a year of the ash, which can be used in breeze blocks, cement and road construction.

But the new plan, due to go before councillors next month, will mean as many as 260 lorry movements a day along Cobcroft Lane and Whitefield Lane then north on the A19 to the M62.

Mother-of-two Elizabeth Kundu is concerned about the impact on the health of her daughter Asha Lily, six, who attends Whitley and Eggborough School.

She 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.

“Highways England said they could go out on another route to the A1, which would not impact on the village.

"But the developers have said they won’t. We think it is all about cost.

“I think most people now are waking up to the severity of climate change and looking round the world to the poor people who are suffering.

"My daughter doesn’t suffer from asthma or a lung condition and I would seriously consider moving her out of the school if they do go ahead.”

Parish councillor Tim Woodhead, who has organised the public forum at 6.30pm, said: “The A19 through the village is busy enough. To put another 260 HGV vehicles just seems ridiculous."

Mr Woodhead said an alternative route could add an extra six miles depending which way they were heading.

He said: “It’s a two-mile trip to get them on the M62 and my impression is that they don’t want to think outside their comfort zone.”

James Crankshaw, the firm’s head of engineering, said an “extensive assessment” of traffic had been undertaken and the county council’s highways officers had not expressed any concerns.

He added: “We are aware that some local residents are concerned about the HGV traffic near their homes and school, so we are proposing a number of management and mitigation measures to address comments made by the local community, in order to further reduce the limited effects that are anticipated.”

Proposed measures include building a bypass to move vehicles away from Whitefield Road, stopping lorry journeys at school drop-off and pick-up times and a new crossing on the A19.

Mr Crankshaw added the development will create up to 47 full-time jobs and about 60 haulage roles as well as adding £4m each year to the economy.