County Nukewatch organisation warns of ‘deadly’ convoys passing Banbury every month

Nigel Day's photo of a convoy carrying nuclear warheads down the A34 from the M40
Nigel Day’s photo of a convoy carrying nuclear warheads down the A34 from the M40

Oxfordshire CND said the last nuclear warhead convoy was tracked and monitored on October 17 as it traveled down the UK.

Spokesman Nigel Day said: “He traveled through Oxfordshire, passing through Bicester and Banbury on October 17 and returning on Sunday October 23.

“These convoys regularly travel between the atomic weapons factory, Burghfield in Berkshire – the nuclear bomb factory – and the Royal Navy’s armory, Coleport, near the Trident submarine base at Faslan in Scotland.

“This is the deadliest cargo on our roads.”

An MOD spokesman told the Banbury Guardian: “All movements of defense nuclear material are kept to the minimum necessary to meet operational requirements.

“Defense nuclear materials are transported only when it is necessary to meet operational requirements and in over 50 years of transporting nuclear material by road in the UK, there has never been an event that posed any radiation hazard to the public or the environment.”

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Mr Day said: “The government has increased the number of warheads – the estimated number now is 250-260 Trident warheads.

“They are all stored in bunkers at the Royal Naval Armaments Depot (RNAD) Colport, a loch near the Trident nuclear submarines at Faslane in Scotland.

“There are no nuclear warheads stored in England. The components are manufactured at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston and assembled into warheads at nearby AWE Burghfield, from where the nuclear warhead convoys depart and return.

Mr Day said a warhead convoy contains: cargo carriers (huge trucks), MOD police escort vehicles and military support vehicles to deal with accidents or breakdowns.

“The warhead carriers are 44-ton, seven-axle articulated Mercedes-Benz trucks. They are military green, covered by fitted canvas. MOD police vehicles with large blue and yellow checkered stripes carrying the convoy commander and escort commander front and rear.

“Usually there are between three and five warhead carriers. MOD police cars drive ahead and behind each carrier. A fire engine will follow.

“The three support vehicles of a spare carrier compartment, a decontamination and workshop bus, a breakdown truck and a support coach travel some distance behind the main convoy. If the carriers are held up, these vehicles will wait several kilometers behind.

“Police forces are notified at least 24 hours in advance of a convoy passing through their area to advise the convoy of traffic issues. Royal Marines provide armed teams to deal with any potential threat and the role of the MOD Special Escort Group is close escort (security) and traffic management.”

For 25 years, the Aldermaston Women’s Peace Campaign has held a monthly camp outside AWE Aldermaston.

Nukewatch UK monitors and monitors convoys and provided evidence to the House of Commons Defense Committee.

The same convoy vehicles as ‘Special Nuclear Material Convoys’ are also used to escort the MOD Special Nuclear Material throughout the United Kingdom. Most of this work is to and from the atomic weapons factory in Aldrumston. These convoys go to, for example, RAF Brize Norton and Rolls Royce, Derby.


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