Nuclear convoys through Midlothian spark anger

Owen Thompson MP, pictured near where the convoy is beleived to have stopped
Owen Thompson MP, pictured near where the convoy is beleived to have stopped

Midlothian SNP MP Owen Thompson’s call to halt nuclear convoys through Scotland’s streets has received backing at Westminster.

Mr Thompson has welcomed the decision in the House of Commons last week to give a second reading to his parliamentary Bill which would stop weapons of mass destruction being transported through the streets of Scotland.

His ‘10 Minute Rule Bill’ heard last week, came days after campaign group Nukewatch raised concerns about a convoy carrying nuclear weapons travelling across Midlothian on several occasions, parking close to schools and sparking
local outrage.

Mr Thompson said: “These convoys are transporting the most dangerous and obscene cargo though Scotland’s towns and villages and it is vital that the UK government is transparent about the safety measures in place - as the consequences of any safety breach simply do not bear thinking about.

“It was once spotted parked up at Glencorse Barracks while the driver took a break. So there were six nuclear warheads sitting beside Beeslack High School.

“If passed, my bill will put a stop to these nuclear weapons convoys that drive past homes, shops and schools on their way to and from Coulport in Argyll and I am delighted to have received parliamentary support for this proposal.

“The SNP is clear in our opposition to these useless weapons of mass destruction and the only way to fully guarantee public safety is to rid Scotland of these devices completely.

“The SNP will continue to fight every step of the way against spending £167bn on weapons of mass destruction.”

Midlothian Green councillor Ian Baxter backed Mr Thompson’s proposal to halt nuclear convoys through Scotland’s streets.

He said: “I think having nuclear warheads travelling through areas of high population is very worrying. Even in rural areas you have the problem of dangerous roads.

“So I fully support what Owen is doing. Nowhere by road is safe to take nuclear weapons.

“Rural roads are dangerous in themselves. And anywhere with high quality roads there is a high population, so the risk is much greater.

“It’s something that needs to be highlighted.

“I only heard about it a couple of years ago when someone spotted a convoy through Penicuik, and since then I have heard about it once or twice.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: “The safety of the public is always our priority and we can be clear that convoys are conducted to the strictest safety standards.

“We always take into account factors such as road and weather conditions and consult with all relevant local agencies, including Traffic Scotland and Police Scotland.”

Owen Thompson’s Bill is now due to receive its second reading in the House of Commons on March 4.