Two people are currently occupying the conveyor tower at Scottish Coal’s Ravenstruther Rail Terminal in South Lanarkshire to prevent coal from being loaded onto freight trains and being transported to Drax Coal Fired Power Station in Yorkshire. The action started at 5am this morning – a banner reading “Coal Kills” was unfurled on the conveyor tower. More updates to follow!
Coal Rail Terminal Closed for a 6th time by Coal Action Scotland supporters
At 5:00 this morning two activists scaled the conveyor tower at Scottish Coal’s Ravenstruther Rail Terminal near Lanark, South Lanarkshire, and are currently occupying it and preventing coal from being loaded onto trains which then deliver the coal to power stations. There is currently a freight train on the private rail sidings at the terminal. The activists say they will maintain the occupation until they are forcibly removed by police. This is the 6th time that the site has been closed in anti-coal protests since December 2008.
Jo Reed, one of the occupiers at the terminal, said: “I’m taking this action to cost Scottish Coal money as that’s the only thing they’ll listen to. The coal taken here and transported to Drax Coal Fired Power Station in Yorkshire is destroying people’s health and environment in this area – it’s time it stopped! Burning coal is causing runaway climate change and causing harm at home and abroad.”
Today’s protest follows a week-long direct action camp in July, at Glentaggart East, the site of Scottish Coal’s new mine in South Lanarkshire. Throughout the week around 100 activists targeted infrastructure in the area with an invasion of Mainshill Open Cast Coal Site where 45 activists stopped work on the site for the day, a blockade of Broken Cross Opencast Coal Site and the opencasting of landowner Lord Home’s front garden.
The haulage of coal by HGV is a major issue in the area, and protesters are calling for a stop to all haulage through the villages of Douglas and Glespin.
Glespin resident David Grey said: “Coal from Douglas Valley mines comes right through Douglas and Glespin, past two primary schools with no level crossings. We were promised that this wouldn’t happen when planning permission was granted for the Mainshill mine. Now that the huge site at Glentaggart East and 1 million tonne extension to Broken Cross have been approved, Scottish Coal want to bring even more coal through our communities. Action needs to be taken to prevent this.”
The start of a new 4 million tonne mine at Glentaggart East will make these issues even more pressing. Rob Hearne, participating in the protest today said: “Already over 1000 HGV trips are made through the Douglas Valley to railheads every week. Glentaggart East will only add to this and make the problem worse with another 333 trips a week.”
It is estimated that today’s action will stop around 4,000 tonnes of coal from being transported to Drax Coal Fired Power Station and cost Scottish Coal at least £200,000.