Calls to change nuclear workers' start times to ease A595 traffic jams
Last updated at 16:17, Wednesday, 22 December 2010
SECURITY measures and chaos caused by the weather might lead to new start times for thousands of Sellafield workers.
The issue came to a head this week when vehicles entering the site were searched and workers’ passes checked before they were allowed through the gates.
Following last week’s story in The Times that Sellafield was a key part of a national anti-terrorist security operation it was thought that someone might try and prove that the site was vulnerable to attack by trying to smuggle their way on to the site.
David Moore, chairman of Sellafield’s community health and safety stakeholders group, said he had been reassured there was no breach of safety and that The Times was wrong in claiming any security weaknesses had been discovered. But he told The Whitehaven News: “It is fair to assume that this was one of the reasons for this week’s intensified security checks – that anti-nuclear protestors, potential terrorists or even opportunist journalists might try and get into Sellafield to exploit a situation.”
Mr Moore said it was only right that Sellafield was kept properly protected but at the same time the security scare combined with the weather to cause more road chaos, with long tail-backs on the main A595.
“It was just like one big car park,” he said. “We just can’t close down because of Sellafield. The A595 should not be totally blocked.”
On behalf of the West Cumbria Stakeholders Group, which he chairs, the Seascale councillor is urging Sellafield’s management to change its starting times for the workforce so there will be less congestion. “If the present Sellafield security regime is going to continue after January 4, when most of the workforce will be going back after the holiday, then the management has got to look to a Plan B which will be to stagger the in-muster times.
“I know shift and day workers start at different times but everybody seems to be heading in non-stop over a two-hour stretch until shortly after eight o’clock. There’s been one jam after another. It’s not just Sellafield workers who are affected by delays but it means a lot of other people are late in for work and businesses are suffering. Seascale School was disrupted on Monday, half the staff couldn’t get in because of the security checks and doctors couldn’t get to the clinic.”
Sellafield Ltd said yesterday: “We constantly strive to be a good neighbour and if these additional checks are to remain in place after the holidays then clearly we will look at the impact this may have and work in conjunction with the community and our employees to find ways in which we can minimise that impact.
“There is currently increased scrutiny of vehicles entering the site although there has not been a breach of security or change to the site’s security status.”
First published at 16:11, Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
I'm not surprised there's congestion. NMP closed the "Rail Gate" as part of their "cost cutting". Now we're all suffering. They spent Â£millions creating an alternative gate; which they completed a year ago - but it remains closed
Get a grip
I am a shift worker and in my building there are day staff starting at 5 AM every day and going home before I do.
The two reasons are to get onto site without a SOVA pass and to finish early...multiply this by all the plants on site and this equals chaos on the roads. These people rarely inform plant managers of their early attendance so a fire roll call would be very interesting.
Were we all to start and finish at our proper times life would be so much easier and safer for all.
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