Traffic assessment reveals massive coal road usage as yet another Scottish Coal lorry overturns on the A701 Comment April 11th, 2011
On Wednesday 6th April yet another Scottish Coal lorry transporting some 30 tonnes of coal overturned on the A70 near Glespin, as it headed from one of the Douglas Valley’s open cast coal mines to Killoch Rail Terminal in East Ayrshire. This accident is just one of many that has taken place over the past few years.
Scottish Coal’s insistence on sending coal through Douglas and Glespin on the A70 to Killoch, rather than along the route agreed with South Lanarkshire Council to Ravenstruther has been the source of much anger amongst community members. This latest accident, where a lorry came off the A70 on a bend and overturned in a field, confirms the widely held belief in the area that the danger that these HGV’s pose on the roads will result in deaths, and is putting communities seriously at risk.
The accident happened the day after Coal Action Scotland conducted a traffic assessment on the A70 between Douglas and Glespin, to record the level of coal traffic passing through the villages and past Douglas and Glespin Primary Schools. The assessment revealed startling information, with over 130 Scottish Coal HGV’s recorded as passing through Douglas and Glespin, 89.3% of which bore no placard indicating their origin, and 95.4% not carrying a “Well Driven?” phone number to call. Both of these are requirements for all coal HGV’s as dictated by Section 75 agreements signed between Scottish Coal and South Lanarkshire Council.
Fiona Reed of Coal Action Scotland said: “This traffic assessment – and the accident that happened the next day close to where it was carried out – show how much impact Scottish Coal’s lorries are having on the roads in the Douglas Valley. With HGV’s driving dangerously through Douglas and Glespin continuously throughout the day, a route never even mentioned in planning applications, it is surely only a matter of time before someone is killed.”
Tom Jones, who took part in the traffic assessment, said: “Scottish Coal is blatantly disregarding the legal agreements signed between them and the council – only 10% of HGV’s carry signage so that you can identify where they came from, and under 5% have a number on them to call if you want to make a complaint. Scottish Coal are certainly driving more coal West to Killoch than they are letting on judging by the number of lorries we counted. Further still, what exactly is South Lanarkshire Council doing to enforce its own planning conditions and legal agreements? When was the last time that Roger Dick, supposed Minerals Enforcement Officer, assessed the impact of coal traffic on the A70? The Council is acting just as irresponsibly as Scottish Coal is!”