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Travis Perkins paints the town white - then cleans it up

Monday 29 October 2018, 16:50
By John Smith

White emulsion paint spillage on the A303 roundabout in Wincanton

On Wednesday 24th October, a lorry delivering to the Wincanton branch of Travis Perkins left a trail of white emulsion paint all around the town, starting on the Dyke's Way roundabout opposite the A303 junction.

Travis Perkins is still investigating the cause, but the visual evidence suggests that the primary spillage took place upon the vehicle as it entered Wincanton from the A303 and negotiated the first roundabout. The driver of the lorry, oblivious, was also unfamiliar with Wincanton, and continued along his sat-nav-assisted route into town with the paint splashing out.

Missing the understandably confusing Silver Street junction, he continued up Church Street, past Market Place, and on up High Street with the paint still leaking, splashing pavements and some shop fronts as he negotiated the traffic. He then turned right down Common Road and over the A303 bridge, where the Stoke Trister and Cucklington junction was wide enough to allow him to conduct a U-turn safely.

Evidenced by the continuing trail of paint on the opposite side of the carriageway, still leaking from the nearside of the vehicle, the driver retraced his route back up to High Street, down South Street, back along Station Road, onto Silver Street and finally arrived at his destination. The driver only then discovered that there had been a leak.

Travis Perkins paint spillage up Wincanton High Street

Travis Perkins issued the following statement.

“The vehicle in question was not ours and driven by an agency driver. It seems the driver did not realise there was a paint leak until he got to our branch. It also seems he struggled to locate our branch using his navigation system.

We have a specialist environmental contractor in place to manage the clean-up aspect of this. They are well experienced and experts on undertaking this type of work in an efficient manner which minimises disruption and ensures traffic is managed safely and effectively. Following our liaison with the County Council and the Highways Department, this work is now underway.”

 - Travis Perkins

Travis Perkins has said that the paint spilled was a non-toxic, water-based emulsion that can be washed away using water and detergent, and that they were working with all drivers and neighbours who may have been affected by this regretful incident. They would like to apologise to them, and to the people of Wincanton for any disruption caused by the clean-up operation, which they are determined to complete as quickly as possible. They plan to get to the bottom of how this incident occurred so they can prevent anything like this from happening again.

The clean-up crew working their way up Wincanton High Street

The clean-up team started work today, Monday 29th October 2018. Though the paint has been said to be non-toxic, any foreign substance that doesn't belong in a river can be effectively toxic to wildlife. Local river conservation volunteer group, C.A.T.C.H., contacted the Environment Agency and County Highways to express concern about a possible pollution risk to the River Cale. Highways has said that all waters used during the pressure-washing of the roads will be contained and disposed of safely at a waste processing centre in Avonmouth.




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