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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2006, 17:07 GMT
Campaigners end gas pipe action
Pipe protest
About 14 people were occupying the gas pipe
Activists occupying a section of gas pipeline being laid across south Wales have said their protest has ended.

The sit-in at Trebanos in the Swansea Valley was against the construction of a 200-mile (322km) pipe being built from Pembrokeshire to Gloucestershire.

Rachel Evans from Trebanos, said the protesters had cleared the pipeline on Thursday morning.

Pipeline contractor National Grid has said the project is vital to securing the UK's future gas supplies.

The pipeline is being built to transport imported gas supplies arriving at Milford Haven as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and will supply a fifth of Britain's gas when finished.

The project received ministerial consent a year ago.

Ms Evans, who helped organise a march in support of the action last week, said the protesters' decision followed legal advice to landowner Eira Jones to ask the group to leave her land.

Pipeline
The pipeline will transport gas from Milford Haven to England

She said Ms Jones had met the activists on Wednesday evening and they had respected her wishes.

Protester Meirion Bowen said: "It's time now to pack up and leave. The landowner has been under so much pressure and obviously she has had legal advice to ask people to leave her land.

"She did not want to do it but she was forced to do it."

Mr Bowen said an amicable agreement had been reached and they respected what the landowner had done.

A second protester, known only as Nick, said the action had been necessary to demonstrate that people were not happy about the pipeline. He also warned of future protests.

"The party has only just begun," he added.

About 14 protesters moved onto the construction site above the village of Trebanos early on 13 November, some climbing onto machinery and others crawling inside the pipeline.

They said they had been invited onto the land by the landowner. Work on the pipe was forced to stop when the protest started.

'Safety and welfare'

The group, who said the pipe was not ecologically friendly or safe, have been living in the pipeline for over a week, in cramped and wet conditions.

The action received support from many residents in nearby Trebanos and some supplied food and clothes to the campaigners.

Following the withdrawal of the protesters, National Grid said in a statement: "Now the protestors have left our construction site at Trebanos, National Grid will be carrying out extensive safety checks and a full clean-up operation before recommencing work.

"The health and safety of our staff and contractors, and of members of the public, is our top priority and we will ensure the site is clean and all plant and equipment is safe before we complete construction of the natural gas pipeline at the site."

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"I think it's been great for the village - everyone's been coming together"



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