Residents show their objection to road closure

Ineos wants to close off the A904 Bo'ness Road permanently. Picture: Michael Gillen
Ineos wants to close off the A904 Bo'ness Road permanently. Picture: Michael Gillen

An online petition set up by a student protesting over the proposed closure of a road gathered more than 1000 signatures in less than a week.

James Bundy (19), who is studying economic and international relations at St Andrew’s University, is among a throng of residents concerned over plans put forward by Grangemouth-based petrochemical giant Ineos to close the A904 Bo’ness Road to the public.

The company previously had the stretch of the A904 from Inchyra Road to Wholeflats Road closed off to carry out vital work on its petrochemical site before submitting a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) with Falkirk Council to permanently close the road between Inchyra Road and a point east of the Avon Bridge.

Ineos wants to set up a security controlled access for the public road and held two public meetings in October in Grangemouth Town Hall to allow residents to question the proposals.

Residents in both Grangemouth and Bo’ness say closing the road would adversely affect the communities.

James lives in Bo’ness Road and started the ‘Keep Bo’ness Road Open’ petition on which now has almost 1500 signatures.

He said: “This is the main connection between Grangemouth and Bo’ness and myself and others use it regularly for various reasons, both economically and personal.

“When it has been closed recently it caused significant inconvenience for everyone and the needs of local people should be taken into account, not just the needs of big business.”

Vice convenor of Grangemouth Community Council Walter Inglis commented on the petition saying Ineos’ plan will increase noise and air quality pollution and traffic congestion.

The process for a PAN proposal means anybody submitting one has 12 weeks from submission date to lodge their application.

A spokesperson for Falkirk Council said: “An applicant has 12 weeks to put forward their submission as part of the pre-application process – in this case the deadline is November 14. Nothing has been received to date.”

Ineos say it is investing heavily in Grangemouth that will bring long-term benefits to the local economy, businesses and communities.

A spokesperson said: “We firmly believe that removing public access along a segment of road that bisects the site is in the interests of safety and security. It also enables Grangemouth as a single site to attract inward and third party investment, developing fully the potential of the site.

“We recognise that our investment plans for the site and the potential closure of a section of the A904 Bo’ness Road will have implications for the residents of Grangemouth and Bo’ness.

“The investment in terms of jobs, security and economic opportunity we trust will be welcomed. Local concerns about traffic and bus routes are being addressed with a range of mitigation measures and road improvements with local benefits. We are consulting on these as part of the planning process.”