Returning from Scarborough recently via B1416 towards Ruswarp, I had to stop as I approached Red Gate corner due to an enormous low loader negotiating the bend taking up the whole of the road.
As the vehicle continued on its journey towards Scarborough it still took up over half the road.
This highlighted a major problem regarding the location of the proposed potash mine.
The roads for miles around Whitby are totally unsuitable for the heavy transport and equipment that will be required during construction phase and later the servicing of the mine once operational.
Local roads can hardly cope with current traffic levels, particularly during the tourist season and once construction starts the heavy transport involved will create chaos. Are there any plans for a major upgrade of local roads to cope with this extra traffic?
It seems that there is overwhelming support for this project which will undoubtedly be of great benefit locally but the planning application has not yet been submitted and there is a huge amount of work currently taking place on the proposed mine site. Jumping the gun or what?
Currently most of the attention seems to be focused on how the site will be developed together with the pipeline to Teesside.
There are however a number of other major issues which so far have not been highlighted which needs to be considered.
Sirius Minerals must provide cast iron proof of their ability to fund this project.
The current estimate of the cost of development is enormous and they have recently pulled out of a project in Australia to fund this development, it would be a major disaster if they were to do the same here. Do they have contingency funding available should the mine run over budget?
There is much talk about the project providing 5,000 jobs, how do they arrive at this figure? Is there any guarantee that most of these jobs will be sourced locally?
Assuming they get planning permission and development work starts on the mine, what plans do they have for dealing with the thousands of tonnes of spoil from the shaft sinking operations.
Once mining operations start up there will inevitably be a great deal of spoil from the mine.
At Boulby, to mine potash the underground access roadways are developed in the adjacent salt seam producing around 500,000 tonnes of salt per annum, are Sirius planning to mine salt and if so what are their plans for its disposal?
Boulby was originally developed to produce Potash ie Potassium Chloride (KCl), production of Polyhalite emerged more recently.
Sirius appears to concentrating on Polyhalite, are they also planning to mine Potassium Chloride (KCL) as well?
With regard to the proposed pipeline to Teesside it is impossible to imagine that this can be buried across over 20 miles of moorland without major disturbance to the moorland environment.
The machinery involved will cause a significant disturbance and how do they intend to bury the pipeline of this size without dragging up the subsoil and leaving it behind on the surface?
John S Emerson, St Andrews Road, Whitby by email