Highlands & Islands

Highland haulier's fleet cut after wheel lost on A9

A haulage firm's fleet of transport has been reduced in size after one of its lorries lost a wheel as it travelled on the A9 south of Aviemore.

Mackenzie Haulage (Highland) Limited's number of trailers was cut from 19 to 10 by Joan Aitken, the traffic commissioner for Scotland.

She said someone could have been killed in last year's incident.

Ms Aitken said 19 trailers were too many for the five-vehicle firm, which has sites near Alness and Bonar Bridge.

At a public inquiry, the haulage company's boss Gordon Mackenzie said it was his fault that the vehicle lost its wheel.

Owner commended

The lorry was driven to a lay-by with a police escort.

In her decision, Ms Aitken said lost wheels had the potential to kill or cause serious injury to other motorists.

She said it was a failure that she and road safety officers worked hard to stamp out.

But the commissioner also said she had to commend Mr Mackenzie for being frank about where the blame lay for incident on the A9.

Ms Aitken said: "He has not tried to make out, as some operators pathetically try to make out, that wheels come off trailers for no obvious reason when they know perfectly well that there were omissions in their own systems within workshops and such like.

"Mr Mackenzie identified exactly why the wheel came off this trailer and he has not sought in any shape or form to excuse his part in that."

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