Lorry loads of clay from a new quarry at Stockton, Warwickshire, planned by Rugby Cement are causing protests from people living near the lorry route, even before the first clay has been loaded. When the quarry opens in three year’s time, it is estimated that around 180 lorries will transport the daily production of the quarry, this to the dismay of local residents. They hope to force the cement manufacturer to reopen a disused railway line, pointing out that one train could transport the loads of around 80 lorries, resulting in less noise and pollution for the villages on the route.
Meanwhile, members of the local protest group Rugby in Plume were keen to point out that this investment could be a waste of money as the works could close in 2005 anyway due to new European incineration directives coming into force. However, this claim was refuted by members of the borough council as “ridiculous”.
The cement company had already considered reopening the railway in 2001, but after a request for government funding was turned down, it stated it could not afford the UK£20m investment. Bob Millard, the plant’s general manager, said the project remained unviable. “The cost was in the region of UK£20m and the company applied for a Strategic Rail Authority grant to finance this but only half of this funding was forthcoming. This wasn’t enough for the company to take it forward.
Local representatives are planning a meeting with Rugby Cement management before the end of this month.