Ineos has sparked a row by calling for part of the main route that links Grangemouth with Bo’ness to be closed permanently.
A 150 metre stretch of the A904 Bo’ness Road between the roundabouts at Inchyra Road and Wholeflats Road was shut last March to allow work to be carried out on a pipebridge ahead of Europe’s biggest ethane storage tank being built on the site.
The project was a key part of a £450 million investment to get the company ready to import the gas from the United States.
A Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) granted by Falkirk Council to allow materials to be delivered safely expired on March 31 and the road which runs through the middle of the sprawling petrochemicals complex has now re-opened to traffic.
But the move has been criticised by Ineos bosses who have complained to the council it “defies common sense” – and raises safety concerns.
John McNally, chief executive officer of Ineos 0&P UK, said: “This is the only major site within Ineos Group with a public highway running through it.
“It is clearly not best practice and opens up long term concerns on continuing to secure the safety of the public traversing a site which is about to begin importing and storing huge quantities of US shale gas and will run at full capacity for the first time in almost a decade.”
“Having a public thoroughfare running through a massive petrochemicals plant results in obvious and unnecessary added safety concerns which we have to manage.”
This week, Rhona Geisler, the council’s director of development services, said: “Ineos applied for a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order to close this road while they carried out extensive works to upgrade the site. It expired on March 31 and the road has reopened as the work on site is complete.”