The public in Dumbarton and the Vale have been given assurances over the safety of convoys carrying nuclear warheads to Coulport.

Argyll and Bute Council and the police say regular safety assessments are carried out over the convoys which travel up Loch Lomondside and over the A817 Haul Road to the missile site.

The assurances were made prior to a discussion in the Scottish Parliament last Wednesday on the risks to public safety arising from the traffic.

Pressure group Nukewatch UK says that around six times a year convoys travel between Aldermaston/Burghfield in Berkshire and Coulport carrying Trident warheads.

They welcomed an opportunity to debate a Scottish Government motion on the potential risks.

The May 2 debate was led by Mark Ruskell, the Green Party’s MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, who carried out a survey in 2016 to see how many local councils on the convoys’ routes were prepared for the possibility of a serious incident on their patch.

Nukewatch said: “Although defence is reserved to the UK government, community safety is wholly devolved and is legislated for in the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 which obliges Category One Responders (including local councils) to risk assess any perceived threat to public safety and to keep their public informed.”

“The survey, which was the basis for the Nukewatch report ‘Unready Scotland’, showed an almost complete failure on the part of the affected councils to fulfil their obligations under the Act.

“Mark Ruskell’s motion for debate has acquired cross-party support. It highlights the risks inherent in the transport and the need to assess them adequately.

A spokesman for Argyll and Bute Council said: “Planning to protect and support the public in the event of an emergency is an important part of our work. “Our Risk Preparedness Assessments are reviewed annually in line with statutory guidance and in the interests of public safety with our local resilience partners.

“The latest assessments were carried out and submitted to the Scottish Government in March 2017.”

Superintendent Conrad Trickett said: “Police Scotland is regularly involved in planning, testing and exercising with a variety of policing partners, other emergency services and resilience partners in line with civil contingency and other legislation.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We expect any such transportation to be carried out safely and securely and have made that position clear to the UK Government, who are responsible.”

The MoD said: “Public safety is our absolute priority and robust arrangements are in place to ensure the safety and security of all these convoys.”