Ex­plo­sion fears af­ter tanker over­turns on slippy road

Strathearn Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Ross Gardiner

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

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