A CAMPAIGN group has raised fears over public safety after a military convoy, understood to include four nuclear warhead carriers, stopped due to a breakdown on the M40. 

The convoy was travelling on the M40 north slip road at Junction 9, Bicester, when one of the vehicles broke down yesterday morning.

Nukewatch claim the convoy was heading from the warhead assembly plant at Burghfield. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said they do not comment on operational details of military convoys.  

The Nukewatch group, which follows WMDs around the country, said a truck in the convoy broke down on the slip road at around 11am. 

A police motorbike rider apparently channelled all the northbound traffic entering the M40 down the slip road into one lane past the stationary main convoy vehicles on the hard shoulder.

Then the slip road was closed altogether while the broken down  armoured personnel carrier (APC) escort vehicle was reversed and attached to the breakdown truck.

At 11.45am the remainder of the convoy moved off northwards again, followed later by the breakdown  truck towing the escort vehicle.

Nukewatch claim the convoy left the warhead assembly plant at Burghfield yesterday morning and said it was likely to be heading for Coulport on Loch Long where the warheads are stored and loaded onto the Trident submarines.

The trucks, according to the group, are used to carry complete Trident warheads which are unarmed but contain high explosive and plutonium.

According to the MoD the high explosive has an impact range of 600 metres and the radiological plume would extend to at least 5 kilometres.

A Nukewatch spokesman said: “The breakdown happened to an escort vehicle rather that one of the warhead carrying trucks but clearly any vehicle can have problems.

"After all, there have been 180 incidents involving the convoys in the period 2000 to 2016.

"The UK's Ministry of Defence is allowed to carry explosive and radioactive materials in the same transport – a procedure rationally outlawed for civil transport.

"It is probably only a matter of time before we have a serious accident involving these convoys. The transport of these weapons shows a disturbing disregard for public safety, which is put in second place by the government's determination to continue to deploy these horrific weapons of mass destruction.”