ICE ROAD TRUCKER CRASH
Explosion fears after tanker overturns on slippy road
A Strath man has said enough is enough after a propane tanker crashed outside his house on Sunday morning due to ice on the road.
The gas tanker is the latest vehicle to crash on the category two road between Balgowan and Clathy near Findo Gask, and local resident George Roberts has called on the council to intervene.
George, who lives at Ross Farm on the outskirts of Balgowan, is furious that the lack of gritting has put the community at risk.
He told the Herald: “Police told us it was a slow speed collision with a low risk of an explosion but I don’t believe that.
“The tanker crashed less than 20 metres from the nearest house which had a family inside. It was lucky there was nothing else on the road.
“I’ve lived here for around 12 years and the gritting used to be
okay. When Balgowan was built and there were another 72 houses added, the amount of traffic massively increased.
“We see cars sliding all over the place as they hit the bends, not knowing if anyone is approaching.
“The problem is that the natural run-off from the surface water from the fields crosses the road at several points along it. In cold weather when it freezes it is dangerous. Then, when the ice thaws, we end up with massive potholes. Enough is enough.
“There is a high volume of traffic with people accessing Tibbermore and Clathy Moore - particularly farm vehicles.
“Last Friday, the Perth and Kinross Council bin lorry was slipping and sliding at the Ross entrance down the hill on the icy road. The bin men were sliding all over the road, trying to stop cars approaching because they were afraid the lorry was out of control. Cars had to wait a while until they eventually managed to wedge the lorry on the grass verge to let people pass. It really was a potentially catastrophic incident.”
“Many of the new houses are on Calor [gas], including the 72 at Balgowan and of course the three in our steading, so lots of gas tankers pass our little hamlet. We do not want to go up like a wee cigar. Will it take the tanker to explode before we get the roads treated again?”
Perth and Kinross Council confirmed that this winter they are operating with three fewer Tayside Contracts gritters than last year.
A spokesperson said: “The impact of the budget savings decisions agreed in February 2017 for winter maintenance was a reduction in funding which reduced our requirement for three purpose-built gritters. The service is provided to us by Tayside Contracts and as such, they allocate their plant according to budget availability.
“The council will be providing the same level of gritting as last year although we may take longer to start on our category two routes.”
A spokesperson from Calor told the Herald:“The driver of the tanker is okay and has suffered no injuries. We understand that the vehicle slipped on some black ice.
“Most of our customers live rurally and therefore many of the roads our vehicles drive down are untreated. This is an occupational hazard, however we have all sorts of safety features on our vehicles, and a relatively low impact crash like this presents virtually no explosion threat.”
An SFRS spokesman confirmed:“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to reports of a one vehicle collision on the A85, near Crieff, at 7.49am on Sunday, December 17.
“Operations Control mobilised three fire appliances and a heavy rescue unit to the scene and firefighters worked with emergency service partners to make the area safe.”
A police spokesperson added:“Police Scotland attended at an unclassified road near Findo Gask shortly before 8am on Sunday, December 17, in response to reports of a tanker having overturned. The lorry was righted and recovered, and the driver was not injured.”
Overturned The tanker
Concerns Balgowan resident George Roberts is unhappy at the lack of road gritting