Glasgow City Council ‘not informed’ when nuclear weapons convoy passes through city
Glasgow City Council are ‘left in the dark’ as to when unmarked convoys laden with nuclear weapons pass through the city. The council confirmed that it is their “understanding” that local authorities in Scotland, are “not informed” when the convoys – which can contain as many as eight nuclear warheads – are routed through their local area. They did so in a response, seen by Glasgow Live, to a request by peace organisation, Scottish CND, who had written to the 15 Scottish councils “affected by the transport of nuclear weapons” asking them to consider informing locals about the risks involved.
Instead, the Ministry of Defence “engages with other relevant agencies to inform any plans”, the council responded. READ MORE: Glasgow child killer pleads for prison release 17 years after toddler murder Sign up to Glasgow Live newsletters for more headlines straight to your inbox
The convoys usually travel between Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield near Reading and RNAD Coulport on Loch Long, right through Glasgow on the M74 and M8, passing within 1.5 miles of George Square in the process. They normally make the journey around six times per year when they “take the warheads down to refurbish them and then transport them back up again” according to Nukewatch UK, with the most recent trip through Glasgow taking place at the end of June. The convoys include huge lead-lined lorries carrying the nuclear warheads, along with a fire engine in case a blaze breaks out, a moving workshop, a decontamination unit, tow truck and scores of MOD police vehicles.
Scottish CND’s David Mackenzie told Glasgow Live that the only organisation informed of the convoys prior to their departure is Police Scotland, who are involved in managing traffic when the convoys are on the road. He said: “None of the local authorities are informed [about the convoys]. The fire and rescue are not informed, health services are not informed.
“The only organisation that is informed is Police Scotland. I presume this is because of the general secrecy around the whole business. “Police Scotland are informed because they are very often involved in traffic management in relation to the convoys, so that would be one reason why they are informed. “When they [Glasgow City Council] said they are not informed they are right about that, but they could easily find out if they paid attention to Nukewatch UK.”
An unmarked convoy believed to be carrying nuclear weapons on the M74 near to Junction 1A (Polmadie Road) in May last year. (Image: Glasgow Live)
He added: “If you live in the area around Faslane, Coulport or Torness then there are duties imposed by law about informing the public about the risk of radiological exposure.
There’s something called the Clyde Emergency Plan covering Faslane and Coulport where they actually send out leaflets about what to do and where to shelter and all that stuff so it’s all there in the public domain. “And our question is, what is the difference between the same stuff on the road, moving? Now that’s a matter for legislation but at least I would think councils and the civil authorities in Scotland should have a view on that.”
Glasgow City Council have been contacted for comment. READ NEXT – Glasgow rapist jailed for sex attack on mum found dead hours later on canal path
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