Category: Bridgend

Referency Library – Scotland – West Lothian – Bridgend

‘Margaret dedicated her life to helping’: Husband pays tribute to former Dundee nurse killed in road tragedy

Margaret Lowdon

The husband of a cyclist who was killed after being involved in a collision with an HGV vehicle says she “dedicated her life to helping people”.
Margaret Lowdon died following an accident with a lorry on Main Street, Bridgend, Pert…

Council reassure residents their recycling will not go to landfill during waste ‘crisis’

A resident has recorded recycling being thrown into a refuse lorry amid a waste collection “crisis” in Bridgend[1].

The bottles, paper, plastic and cardboard – which had been sorted into separate containers as residents are required to do – was thrown into the back of one lorry.

But Bridgend council[2] has claimed it will be separated later and will not go to landfill.

A spokesman said the temporary measure is designed to clear the waste backlog during the heatwave.

It is understood Bridgend council was also in crisis talks with Julian Tranter, the managing director of their waste contractor Kier, at the civic offices in Bridgend on Wednesday.

The new practice was spotted in Brackla on Wednesday morning, just over two weeks into a new collection scheme which is designed to boost recycling rates by diverting waste from landfill.

But since it started on June 5 the new regime has been dogged by countless missed rubbish and recycling collections, with food waste left at the kerbside becoming infested with maggots.

Some residents have gone weeks without recycling or nappy collections.

Councillors across the political divide have labelled it a “crisis” and called for the Labour-led authority to take action.

Both council leader Huw David and Mr Tranter have apologised.

Longstanding county councillor and former leader of Bridgend Cheryl Green said the scheme has suffered “systemic failure”.

Maggots in a food waste bin in Brackla (Photo: Abby Bolter)

She added councillors were being inundated with complaints on a daily basis and it’s the single biggest issue they’ve had to deal with in years.

A Bridgend council spokesman said: “Some residents may have seen recycling being emptied into the back of refuse lorries earlier today. This is because Kier has deployed extra vehicles alongside their regular recycling fleet on a short-term temporary basis to complete collection rounds during the current heatwave, and get the backlog cleared.

“We can also confirm that Kier has arranged for the loads to be sorted for recycling.”

Lorry driver who fiddled tachograph on 44-tonne truck given suspended jail sentence

A HEREFORDSHIRE lorry driver who fiddled the tachograph on his 44-tonne truck so he could drive longer hours has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Alan Reynolds, a lorry driver for 36 years, took out the driver’s card on his articulated tarmac delivery lorry a number of times during the summer of last year, Worcester Crown Court was told.

Olivia Maginn, prosecuting for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, told the court an investigation revealed Reynolds, of Bridge Street, Kington[1], had gone “off the card” and manually recorded that he had a taken longer breaks than he had.

Lorry drivers are only permitted to drive for four-and-a-half hours without a break of 45 minutes, she said. During July, August and September last year, the records showed that Reynolds had driven an hour and 50 minutes longer than he should have on one occasion, though most of the offences were for a much shorter period.

Miss Maginn said the tracker device fitted to the lorry kept records of the time and distance it had been driven and it revealed the offences.

Reynolds pleaded guilty to 15 charges of knowingly making false entries on the tachograph.

The company he worked for at the time, N.R. Parsons, of Bridgend, pleaded guilty in magistrates court to permitting the offences and was fined a total of £15,000 with £934 costs.

Miss Maginn said the company had not been aware of the offending and Reynolds had not been put under pressure by his employers. He had not made any money in the form of overtime or bonuses.

Jason Aris, defending, said Reynolds accepted his guilt and was genuinely remorseful. He had wanted to work as much as he could to save time for his employers but had now lost his job and faced the prospect of finding a different kind of work at the age of 57, Mr Aris said.

Judge Nicholas Cole said Reynolds had been driving one of the largest lorries on the road and had deliberately flouted the regulations “in a brazen manner” by removing the tachograph card.

“You breached the limits which are imposed for the safety of the public to ensure drivers are not tired,” he said. “The risk to other road users is obvious.”

Reynolds was given a jail sentence of six months suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 160 hours of unpaid work. He will also have to pay £1,650 towards costs.

References

  1. ^ Kington (www.ledburyreporter.co.uk)

New ideas are needed to keep M8 traffic flowing

Sometimes I think March should be called the ‘don’t bother to travel’ month.

The weather can catch us out, of course, with an unexpected dump of snow, but that usually only disrupts for a few hours. It’s the ­sudden sprouting of roadworks all over the place that cause cumulative irritation and the desire to see entire cone armies consigned to the ­nearest landfill.

Quite why councils ­discover every year that they have underspent their roads ­budget and now need to blow it all at once or lose it, is a mystery. And the ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ imposed on the councils, at the one time in the year the road maintenance contractors have them over a barrel, is equally a mystery.

But even when the cones are gone, mysteries about how our road system ticks – or doesn’t – abound throughout the year.

Take our dearly loved M8, for example. Welcome though the final link between Newhouse and Baillieston is, won’t it simply push the problem elsewhere? On a road which is as congested as the M8, one would hope that proactive management of the inevitable knock-on effect has been well planned. But the omens don’t seem to be too good.

A straw poll of regular M8 commuters would probably reveal an expectation that the two-lane section westbound from Livingston will increasingly become the next major bottleneck.

Over recent years, as the ribbon development feeding onto the motorway has expanded, each new ­distribution warehouse has added several hundred delivery journeys per day to the mix. The concept of the M8 as a commuter ­corridor has become something of a joke. Even at 6.30am, it is ­rarely possible to avoid being caught behind lorries ­playing leapfrog with a speed ­differential of barely a few miles an hour.

As most of us have ­experienced all too often, such overtaking can require a significant amount of time and ­distance to achieve. The result? A seriously backed-up queue of traffic and ­soaring frustration levels that are bound to increase the risk of an accident.

The mystery in this case is why some sort of intelligent traffic management has not long since been in place in the worst bottlenecks of the ­two-lane sections. So here’s an off-the-wall suggestion: ban HGVs/LGVs from the outer lane on the uphill drag from Harthill Services through to the start of the new three lane section at Junction 6 between, say, 7.00am and 9.00am.

Relocating two or three of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras once the Newhouse to Baillieston section is completed could alert police patrols to ­vehicles breaching such a ban, or ­trigger an automatic ticket.

Road space is now such a scarce and valuable resource that continuing to delegate the management of its use to the survival of the biggest is clearly a flawed concept.

But, regrettably, it’s a ­concept that there seems ­little prospect of being abandoned until and unless there is a sea-change in road ­management thinking.

Iain A. Masterton is a retired consultant software engineer. He lives in West Lothian.

Moment P-plate driver “forgets” to shut back door

BIZARRE footage shows a recently-qualified driver negotiating a roundabout after apparently forgetting to shut the back door.

The driver – proudly displaying a green “P” after passing her test – turns right with the passenger-side rear door wide open.

The startled motorist filming the scene on his dashcam can be heard exclaiming “Holy s***!”.

The driver of an HGV approaching the scene flashes his lights frantically to warn the driver of the danger.

Thankfully, the new driver seems to realise her vehicle is unusually well-ventilated and appears to pull over after leaving the roundabout in Bathgate, West Lothian.

The clip was taken just before nine o’clock this morning (mon), and the man who took the footage believes the driver had probably just dropped their children off for school.

The dashcam owner, who does not want to be identified, but runs the Scottish Dashcammer Facebook page, said: “I’m guessing the lady had dropped kids off at school and I’m presuming the door hadnt been fully locked tight. I can only assume that as there is a school directly opposite.

“My reaction, as you can hear from the audio was more worried about if the door would hit the footpath railings.

“Apart from that it was more of a ‘did I just see that?’ type moment.”

A spokeswoman for road safety charity Brake, said: “Drivers need to ensure that their vehicle is fit for the road every time they get behind the wheel; this includes making sure all passengers are secured with a seatbelt, and doors and boots are firmly shut.

“An oversight such as the one in this video creates a massive hazard on our roads, and could potentially be fatal.”