Last week a coal truck travelling through the small village of Fairlie in North Ayrshire crashed into a block of flats, killing one women inside and injuring her husband. The driver was also injured and taken to hospital. Tragically, residents of the village have feared this accident for years, and have been ignored.
Residents of Fairlie have campaigned against the trucks travelling from Hunterston coal port through their village for decades. According to news reports the chair of local community council described it as “an accident waiting to happen.” One report says that those affected by the accident have yet to be contacted by either the haulage company or the coal company they were working for.
Small villages across Scotland unlucky enough to be near coal infrastructure are subject to intense coal haulage, with near constant heavy traffic and speeding trucks. In South Lanarkshire residents of Glespin and Douglas have warned of the dangers of coal haulage after numerous accidents involving coal lorries. With trucks weighing up to 44 tons passing through some villages every few minutes, accidents involving coal trucks are bound to happen, especially when drivers are pressured to drive faster to increase profit margins.
In Fairlie there are calls from the community council and local MP for a fatal accident inquiry, and for an end to coal trucks travelling through their village. Hopefully this tragic accident will be the last, but only if pressure is kept up, and these coal lorries are taken off the roads and out the villages. The response from the coal company seems to show a complete unwillingness to take responsibility for this accident themselves.