Glasgow oblivious as unmarked military convoy carrying ‘up to six’ nuclear warheads passes through city
An unmarked military convoy carrying ‘up to six’ nuclear warheads passed through Glasgow last night amid heightened tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Having been tracked from the M6 motorway near Kendal, the convoy was spotted on the M74 at Lesmahagow around 25 miles south of Glasgow prior to its arrival at Royal Naval Armaments Depot Coulport (RNAD) on Loch Long around 11:30 pm last night.
Nukewatch UK tracks and monitors the convoys that transport the UK’s Trident nuclear warheads by road from Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield near Reading to Coulport.
They believe the convoy traveled west on the M74 right through Glasgow’s southside before joining the M8 south of the Kingston Bridge. It then passed over the Erskine Bridge before traveling past Loch Lomond on the A82.
The route is the same the unmarked military convoy was captured on video taking back in May 2021 and also the same route it is believed to have taken a few months earlier in March of that year.
Confirming its passage through Glasgow via the M74 and M8, Nukewatch UK Campaigner Jane Tallents told Glasgow Live: “We think that’s the most likely [route] at that time of night. And looking at the timings of it I would say yes that’s probably what it did, took the M74 onto the M8 over the Erskine Bridge and up the A82 at Loch Lomondside.
“I know it was about 11.30pm last night that it got into [RNAD] Coulport. I think there were four warhead carriers I believe. Our reckoning is that each of those trucks can carry two but one of the trucks is empty as a spare in case breaks down. So if there’s four we expect there to be six warheads, or up to six warheads anyway “.
The convoy is believed to be the first to pass through Glasgow in five months, and while it comes amid the “” very, very alarming “Russian invasion of Ukraine, Nukewatch UK say it is” routine “.
This ‘routine’ sees convoys transporting the nuclear warheads from AWE Burghfield – where the warheads are both made and undergo repair works – back to RNAD Coulport to be put on the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines.
Jane said: “There has not been one since October last year which is a bit strange. But there was a bit of a flurry in the end. There must be some reasoning in their madness but they’d never enlighten us what that is .But yeah this is back to the routine, just refurbishment.They are not arming up to bomb Russia or anything like that, but they could do that anytime.
“I do not think this convoy is of any more concern than the fact that we are always, 24/7, armed and ready to start a nuclear war. And yeah obviously this current situation is very, very alarming. And how quickly some incident could just provoke something that gets all out of our control quickly.
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“All the things that some of us have worried about constantly since the 60s, they come to pass really. People have forgotten about it but they are there. And this sort of tension is exactly why we said when the Soviet Union fell apart that NATO should respond by disarming the nuclear weapons – that was the time to sit down and get rid of them.It was not just Russia that did not want to, it was America, Britain and France were all quite keen to keep them as well and play power games so it’s set us up for all this “.
With RNAD Coulport located just over 35 miles away from Glasgow city center, the fact that nuclear warheads were being transported on roads through the city is, in Jane’s words, “the reality of having them”.
And while she believes that the unmarked military convoy is not a sign that the UK is “arming up to bomb Russia”, she expressed her concerns about what could happen in the event of an accident on the M8 or M74 involving the convoy.
She added: “Yep. That’s the reality of having them. But if it came to nuclear war it does not really matter where you are, there’s no escape with that.
“And there’s no preparations realistically that really help with that. But in terms of the convoys themselves if there was an accident with them, would be ready? I do not know.”