UK Rubber, a new company set to handle almost all of Scotland’s tyre recycling, has received approval for waste tyre storage at Dalzell Steelworks, close to a mainline rail route in Motherwell, southeast Glasgow.
Network Rail Scotland, who looks after Scotland’s railway infrastructure, initially objected to the proposal based on the potential impact in the event of a fire. They claimed that a fire at Motherwell, so close to the West Coast main line would have an impact throughout the UK.
However, council planners set aside the objections and gave UK Rubber the go ahead to start operations.“It is understandable that Network Rail should wish to avoid any such risk, but it is not considered reasonable or proportionate to prevent any activity involving waste tyres from taking place near a railway line unless there are particular risks arising from the nature of the business or the location,” the planners said.
“Whilst the site is close to a busy and important section of railway line whose temporary closure would lead to significant disruption to local commuter rail services, and some disruption to long distance services, the impacts on the national network would be much less severe than at most other locations adjoining the West Coast Main Line because of the availability of an alternative route through the area.
“In this case, the nature of the operation and the security of the site do not appear to involve an unacceptably high probability of fire, and in the event of such a fire occurring it does not appear that the risk to public safety or railway infrastructure would be unusually elevated. Overall, it is not considered that there are sufficient grounds to refuse the application.”
UK Rubber also has other agendas for tyre recycling, including size reduction equipment, a cryogenic process, and a microwave pyrolysis operation.