The general public feel ignored by the UK Government when it comes to the issue of fracking, a new poll has found.
More than half of all respondents to a survey published today said that the government should prioritise the concerns of the general public when making decisions on whether to weaken regulations connected to hydraulic fracturing.
Commissioned by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), 54% felt they should be prioritised over fracking firms, while 51% of those polled said they felt ignored by authorities.
Only 13% of respondents said they felt “listened to” by the government on fracking.
The survey, which was carried out by YouGov on the behalf of the countryside charity, follows a series of calls from fracking companies for the government to loosen regulations that force them to stop fracking if it causes earthquakes with a magnitude of 0.5 or above.
Tom Fyans, deputy chief executive at CPRE, said: “The public has made it abundantly clear that they do not want earthquake regulations to be weakened.
“But given that they don’t believe that the government is listening to their concerns over fracking – at a time when we are facing the unprecedented threat of climate change – it is imperative that action is taken to restore public faith.
“If the government rolls over on this latest bout of industry lobbying and relaxes these standards to make way for more fracking – which exist to protect the public, our countryside and environment – it will only ramp up public opposition to new heights.
“At a time when government proposals threaten to impose fast-tracked fracking over communities’ heads, it is crucial that it reassures the public that it is taking their concerns seriously.”
However, the YouGov poll also found that 54% support the rules as they stand and that only 24% would support weakening limits on earthquakes caused by fracking.