Dear Sir,

I was pleased to read in the Stirling News that Stirling Council has passed a motion condemning the movement of nuclear weapons by road through the city and neighbouring towns (Stirling News, 11th October). It is also excellent news that the council motion also called for Stirling to be a 'nuclear free zone'.

Nuclear Free Local Authorities Scotland has been consistently raising concerns over the risks and dangers of 25 vehicle long road convoys bringing nuclear weapons from West Berkshire to Faslane. The report by the UK branch of the International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) highlights both the amount of 'near misses' affecting these convoys but shows the emergency planning exercise scenarios which outline that more serious incidents are being carefully considered and trained for.

It seems strange though that emergency planning officers of Scottish local authorities, along with fire services and ambulance services, are never told when such dangerous and risky convoys are transported through their area. Only the police are given such information. If a major accident or terrorist incident involving such a convoy did occur thousands of people would be put in danger of exposure to radiation. Is it not too much to ask for the Ministry of Defence to also cascade such information to councils and the other emergency services who would be involved in dealing with the severe consequences of such an incident?

Stirling councillors are right to be concerned about these convoys and we would be very happy to work with them on a joint campaign to challenge the Ministry of Defence to improve safety and reduce the number of such convoys going over our roads at regular intervals. There has to be a better way to do this, though obviously the best way is to get rid of these weapons of mass destruction and not look at constructing new Trident missiles based in Scotland.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Bill Butler

Convener of Nuclear Free Local Authorities Scotland

c/o NFLA Scotland Secretariat, Glasgow City Chambers (