Scottish road accident news

Water way to reduce Scottish road accident toll

A transport initiative involving the movement of freight on the Caledonian Canal is being tested in a bid to reduce the toll of Scottish road accidents on the A82, one of the most dangerous routes in the country.

A six-month trial, using a large barge operated by the Great Glen Shipping Co, is carrying timber from Loch Etive, near Oban, to Inverness in regular trips which should mean that over the period there will be a reduction of 15,000 lorry trips on the road between Inverness and Fort William, where there have been many serious Scottish road accidents and a great number of fatalities, in the last few years.

The barge carries the equivalent of 18 lorry loads of timber on each trip, which includes crossing Loch Ness, and will cut carbon emissions because the boat is more efficient than a standard lorry. It has been 90 years since the waterway was last used for freight.

The manager of the shipping company, Liam Browning, said the intention was to get lorries off the road. If the pilot project is a success, with shipments moving through every five days, a custom-built vessel may be used to carry more goods and a wider range of cargo such as waste, salt and fish feed.

He added, "Timber is going to be the main commodity to start with and we will be taking a significant amount off the A82, which is a very dangerous road. Every week there is an accident around there."

Transport Minister for Scotland, Stewart Stevenson, said there were massive benefits in moving freight haulage on to the waterways.

Not only are there environmental benefits but new areas would be opened up for business and the reduction of congestion on the cross-country A82 should reduce vehicle crashes.



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*Where replacement vehicle costs can be recovered from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. Where this person is untraceable or uninsured, or where there is a dispute over liability, a replacement vehicle cannot be provided.