Traffic using the B9080 bridge over the M9 at Muriehall will be controlled by temporary traffic lights between 09:30 and 16:30 on 27th, 28th and 29th July.
This is to allow operating company Amey to upgrade the safety barrier on the bridge.
These works are not expected to cause any significant delays.
A spokesman for Amey said: “The safety of workers remains a top priority during this essential maintenance project.
“Physical distancing protocols, in line with Scottish Government guidance, will be in place to ensure all on-site personnel remain safe throughout the duration of the project. Thorough risk assessments will be carried out and cleansing stations will be implemented on site.
“Transport Scotland and Amey fully recognise the importance of a safe and reliable trunk road network, particularly during the Covid-19 outbreak, and it is vital that essential maintenance works are carried out in order to maintain the integrity and safety of these routes.
“A number of maintenance projects have been identified as essential and will be prioritised over the coming weeks.
“Please note that all schemes are weather dependent and may be cancelled or rescheduled if weather conditions are not favourable.”
When you mis-hit a golf shot, you don’t expect to be at the centre of a £397k legal battle because another golfer loses an eye. We explore why the Niddry Castle case shows the necessity of specialist golf insurance for all amateur golfers.
By Angus Wright
Golf insurance is a specialist policy made to protect you not only against injury but also against any damaged or injury caused by you while playing golf. It can also protect your equipment in the event of theft. Despite the benefits of this, 9 out of 10 golfers do not have a golf insurance policy with some thinking it is covered by their house insurance, but this is not always the case – especially when personal injury claims are involved.
If an uninsured golfer causes significant damage or injury it can be very costly. One such incident occurred at Niddry Castle Golf Club near Edinburgh in 2013. The plaintiff – Mr Phee – was an inexperienced golfer playing the Niddry Castle course for the first time. While he and his playing partners were stood on the 7th tee, Mr Gordon, a member of the club proceeded to tee of on the 18th hole. Mr Gordon’s shot was wayward and travelled towards the plaintiff and his group. As per the rules of golf etiquette Mr Gordon shouted to warn of the incoming golf ball, the plaintiff’s playing partners reacted and ducked to avoid the ball. Mr Phee, being an inexperienced player, failed to react and was struck in the face by the ball. Phee was wearing glasses which shattered upon the impact of the ball, sending glass into his left eye which he eventually lost after seeking medical treatment.
Following the incident, Phee brought an action for damages against Gordon for common law negligence, and against the Club under section 2(1) of the Occupiers’ Liability (Scotland) Act 1960 (the Act). In the case, the Lord Ordinary found both Mr Gordon and the club liable to the plaintiff for damages in the amount of £397,034.82, 70% on Mr Gordon and 30% on the Club, both of whom appealed. One claim on the appeal was that the incident was caused by the negligence of the plaintiff. Their reasoning being he was a very inexperienced golfer who did not know the rues and etiquette of golf – specifically that ‘Fore’ is shouted as a warning for potential danger and should be recognised by ducking to avoid getting hit. Another contributing factor which was a part of the appeal was that the plaintiff had never played the course before and was unfamiliar with its layout.
The counter argument here firstly calls the Club’s negligence into account. They (the club) had no apparent safety protocols in place. Examples of this include visitors, like the plaintiff and his playing partners, could play on the course without being given any diagrams of the course or instructions regarding its layout. It was also found that accidents were not routinely reported. The court found that the club had failed in its duty of protecting persons on the course by not taking precautions unless a serious incident was reported. The Lord Ordinary concluded that Mr Gordon, Mr Phee, their companions or any other persons on the course would have to adhere to warning signs on the 6th Green, 7th Tee and 18th Tee of which there were none. It was claimed that if this simple measure alone were implemented by the club, the risk of serious accidents occurring could have been significantly reduced.
It was also argued in the case of Mr Gordon that he was negligent as he played the shot from the 18th tee despite seeing the Mr Phee’s group on the 7th tee. Common sense should have prevailed and Mr Gordon should have waited for the tee to be clear before playing – as he was a player of ‘moderate skill’ and not a professional, he should have been aware of the high potential for a wayward shot which could come into contact with other golfers.
Ultimately, both appeals failed as it was found that both Mr Gordon and the Club were still liable of negligence per the reasoning above. The main result of the appeal was that the club was agreed to be more at fault, increasing their share of the damages to be paid to Mr Phee from 30% to 80%, reducing Mr Gordon’s share of the damages to 20%.
This case was a massive warning to any golfer setting on a golf course – the possibility of a wayward shot costing up to £400,000 in the case of serious injury does not bear thinking about. With 12,000 golf injuries a year resulting in hospitalisation, you would think golf insurance would be a top priority for any player. Despite this it is estimated that 9 in 10 golfers still play without specialist insurance.
Insurance against theft of golf equipment
While injury costs are covered by golf insurance, another major positive is that golf equipment is also covered. The value of a golf bag and its contents can be up to £1,500 making them a target for savvy thieves stalking club car parks looking for unattended bags. Recently two men were jailed at Birmingham Crown Court for stealing £750,000 worth of golf equipment from clubs throughout the UK. It was found that the pair were posing as serious golfers, chatting to unsuspecting players and staff in club car parks before stealing golf bags.
There are many reasons to invest in specialist golf insurance. While some may believe it covers them – household insurance will not cover your equipment against theft without paying an excessive premium which not only costs more than specialist insurance but also gives you less cover. Despite the past attitude in golf of shrugging off an injury caused by another player’s shot, the rise of no win no fee lawyers is causing an increase in victims of golf injuries claiming damages which as we’ve seen can cost up to £400,000. Despite popular belief, if you are injured or have equipment stolen on golf club property, they are unlikely to offer help – specialist insurance will help you claim back your costs in the event of an accident.
Golf insurance can also cover you abroad as well as home if you find yourself involved in an incident playing on holiday.
When it comes to insurance it’s not all doom and gloom, policies may also include ‘Hole in One’ cover, helping you to recoup the cost of buying drinks for all patrons at the clubhouse bar which is customary if you’re lucky enough to get an ‘Ace’.
While thousands take part in Scotland’s national sport every year, many do not know the benefits of having a specialist golf insurance policy. It is worth the minor cost to protect yourself not only against personal injury or equipment theft but also from personal injury claims where you are at fault.
Main Photo – Getty Images
Last month WIL West Lothian launched its Winchbugh page with a news story about the development of Auldcathie Park. To celebrate, we are looking into Winchburgh’s fascinating history; here are 10 things you need to know about West Lothian’s fastest growing village.
#1 Ancient Village
Winchburgh has an ancient history which saw it first mentioned in records in 1189. The name probably comes from the Old English for “Winca’s Fort”, and suggests the village may have stood here since being founded by someone called Winca during the period of Anglian or Northumbrian dominance of the area in the 600s.
#2 Time Team welcome here!
There is no sign of Winca’s Fort today, nor of the village that stood here in 1314 when the English army that had been defeated at the Battle of Bannockburn and then their Scottish pursuers both passed through in the immediate aftermath of the battle.
#3 Winchburgh has two Castles – the first was Niddry.
Niddry Castle stands just a third of a mile south east of the edge of Winchburgh, though much of the area between them is covered by a huge oil shale bing, and by the Niddry Castle Golf Club. Niddry Castle dates back to the 1400s and was a base of the Seton family, better known for their estates in East Lothian. The most famous resident, briefly, was Mary Queen of Scots, who stayed here on the night of 2nd May 1568 after her escape from Lochleven Castle. The castle was abandoned in the 1700s. Today, Niddry Castle is famous for its golf course which hit the headlines in 2007 in the case of a golfer who lost his eye on the golf course and successfully sued both the golfer and the golf club for hundreds of thousands of pounds.
#4 Winchburgh’s second castle is Duntarvie
The second castle near Winchburgh is Duntarvie Castle, which stands just under a mile north, and was built by the Durham family in the early 1600s. It is currently being restored and transformed into an events venue.
#5 The Union Canal cuts right through the village
Quarrying began to take place to the east of Winchburgh in the 1790s, and in 1822 the Union Canal was built along a line that took it immediately to the west of the village. It cuts through the village just by the church forming a border that some locals joke marks the ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ between the New Village (West) and the Old Village (East).
#6 Winchburgh was the scene of a fatal rail accident
Winchburgh gained a railway station in 1842 when the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway was built, using deep cuttings to the north and south of the village and a tunnel running beneath the centre of it. On 13 October 1862, 15 people were killed when two trains collided head on in the cutting a mile and a half north east of Winchburgh.
#7 Winchburgh Junction
Winchburgh is even the name of a Billy Connolly acoustic track!
#8 Scotland’s first oil town
In the 1860s oil shale began to be mined in the area, and in the 1870s an oil extraction plant was established to the south of Winchburgh. At the beginning of the 1900s a new extraction plant was built, known as the Niddrie Castle Oil Works. Its owners, the Oakbank Oil Company, built over 200 new cottages in Winchburgh to house the workers, and the oil works was linked by narrow gauge electric railway to a number of oil shale mines in the area. The Niddry Castle Oil Works was the last producer of oil from shale in Scotland when it closed in 1960.
#9 Scotland’s Ayers Rock
Greendykes Bing in Winchburgh has been designated a ‘monument of national importance’ as one of the very few intact spent-shale bings left in central Scotland. The shale oil industry was locally important for about a century, and its pioneer, James Young, developed refining techniques still used in the oil industry. This bing, with its neighbour Faucheldean, gives striking evidence of the enormous volume of material processed in the extraction of oil from shale. In this case the operating company was the Broxburn Oil Co, active from the 1860s to c. 1940. Given its similarity to Uluru and its reddish hue, some locals refer to it as ‘Ayers Rock’.
#10 Billion Pound Village
A landmark deal worth £1 billion, one of the largest in the UK, is set to transform Winchburgh through massive investment in new schools, new homes and vital infrastructure. This will include: a number of new state-of-the-art schools; around 3,450 new homes, including over 700 affordable homes and more than 400 for social rent; a new M9 junction to open up prime employment land; a railway station; a 75 acre district park; and a marina.
Exclusive new drone footage recorded just before the Covid lockdown has shown the dramatic scale of building works in Winchburgh.
In the video, the development of the new £6m public park can clearly be seen.
The new 78-acre park will include 31,000 newly planted trees providing woodland walks, as well as several play areas, a café, an enclosed dog park, community growing areas and a mountain bike trail.
The greenspace, which is due to open in spring 2021, is part of £1 billion plan to develop a new town around the village of Winchburgh.
Also visible are the 93 homes being built as part of Bellway’s Winchburgh Grange development. The new Bellway homes will add to the 588 homes completed in phase one. When complete the masterplan will deliver at least 3,450 homes, including 700 affordable homes of which 400 will be for social rent.
In the light of Government announcements this week regarding Covid-19, John Hamilton CEO of Winchburgh Developments Ltd announced yesterday that all on-site operations have ceased.
In his statement, John announced, ”We have worked closely with our contractors to ensure the sites are secured safely and only essential regular security checks will be made where required.
Behind the scenes, the team at WDL is working hard to ensure that we are fully prepared to resume delivering the essential developments for the village and the community as soon as we are able.
The WDL team can be contacted via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will provide regular updates on our Facebook and website as we move through these unprecedented times.
Most of all we hope you stay safe and well, and we look forward to getting back on site soon.”