Monday, 5 October 2009

MoD must take responsibility

Life in NW Sutherland has been dramatically disrupted by the potentially fatal accident at Laxford Bridge involving a Ministry of Defence articulated lorry last Thursday (1 Oct.)
The parapet at Laxford Bridge on the A838 was destroyed, the bridge is barely operable, and three soldiers nearly lost their lives. The background to this accident of course being the MoD's continual use of the road for hauling and delivering 1000 lb bombs for firing at Cape Wrath. The exercises are detrimental to our wildlife and breeding bird numbers, crofters continually suffer stillborn lambs when there is bombing during lambing, and now, when we are trying to extend the tourist season, Cape Wrath is closed to the public - the other obvious, yet consistently ignored, detriment being the clogging of this lifeline artery on the Highland roads network due to heavy MoD use.

The MoD uses this route to take enormous amounts of equipment north to the bombing range at Cape Wrath and this pinch point hits hardest where the main road from the south, the A894, meets the road from Lairg and the Inner Moray Firth before both going north to Durness and Kinlochbervie.

North West Sutherland Councillor George Farlow has called for the MoD to pay up - to dual track this demolished bridge and the short section of single track road so that it is made safe for all to use and the communities in remote Highland gain from this unfortunate incident.

I fully support George's calls and I will be writing to the MoD to seek a full explanation and agreement by them to pay full costs so that local people are not out of pocket and any environmental damage as well as damage to the bridge is made good as soon as they can. The Royal engineers are always touting for bridge building activities. They are needed urgently now to fix Laxford Bridge. It's not a lot to ask and certainly, with the bridge now demolished, an obvious reparation for the most recent damage done.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's about time the bridge and connecting road (to the North) were made into two lanes. Sadly the hold up for the building of a "real" bridge seems to be a little closer to home - rather than blaming the MOD for the problem, perhaps you would be better asking the local land owner why there has been no progress on this matter!