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Changes coming at Buckie harbour weighbridge after safety and access concerns raised

Drivers have reportedly been travelling to use weighbridges elsewhere due to issues with the quayside equipment.

Buckie harbour weighbridge general view with harbour behind.
Moray Council is making changes to the weighbridge to make it easier and safer to use. Image: David Mackay/DC Thomson

New signs and reflective barriers are going to be fitted to the weighbridge at Buckie harbour amid safety concerns.

The equipment was installed at the port early last year after the previous one was removed to make way for the new Ocean Winds wind farm offices.

However, it has been dogged by repeated problems including additional tests to be recalibrated before it became operational.

Weighbridges are a massive set of scales used to measure the weight carried by lorries with and without their load. The difference is used to calculate how much they are carrying after being loaded from a ship.

Moray Council says test runs to ensure safe use for HGVs were “largely successful”.

However, the Press and Journal understands drivers have instead been using weighbridges at maltings in Buckie and Portgordon due to concerns about the one at the harbour.

Gate at Buckie harbour weighbridge surrounded by roadworks.
Drivers will be unable to access the weighbridge from the road, even when the current roadworks are finished. Image: David Mackay/DC Thomson

What are the problems at the new Buckie harbour weighbridge?

Concerns about the new Buckie harbour weighbridge include it being reportedly impossible to access for large HGVs from the A942 Findochty road running alongside the port due to the turning room required.

Port workers say a “design flaw” means drivers are resorting to driving onto it from inside the harbour gates, before reversing off.

The weighbridge is currently closed due to the pavement outside the gate being dug up, which Moray Council says is part of wider developments at Buckie harbour.

The local authority says when it reopens it will only operate in one direction, preventing drivers driving straight onto it from the A942.

Weighbridge behind fencing.
The weighbridge was moved to its current location early last year. Image: David Mackay/DC Thomson

However, a spokeswoman stressed there are no current plans to alter its design.

She added: “It will be operated one way from the south-west to the north-east (from Pier 1 towards the Fish Market) and vehicles will exit left once they leave. There should be no need for any vehicles to reverse.

“Additional minor works to improve usage of the weighbridge are also being undertaken. This includes new signage for drivers using the weighbridge and reflective barriers on the weighbridge.

“Once the road works and the other minor works are completed, the weighbridge will reopen.”

‘Weighbridge worries are costing council money’

Worries about the weighbridge are the latest issue at Buckie harbour after Moray Council hired an external dredger to do the job of its own last year.

Concerns about the use of the scales have been reported to Buckie Community Council throughout last year.

Sonya Warren leaning on railing at Buckie harbour.
Buckie councillor Sonya Warren at the town’s harbour. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Meanwhile, Buckie councillor Sonya Warren has been raising the issue with senior management.

She said: “It’s a big worry in the town. Having a useable weighbridge is an integral part of any harbour for cargo. It can also be used by other businesses too.

“It’s very concerning there are issues with it. If it’s not being used then there will be a loss of income associated with it.”

Moray Council officials have stressed its harbour budgets have been performing better than initial projections forecast.

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