Website in row over IRA ‘trivia’ comment

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A WEBSITE promoting service stations has been criticised for referring to as “trivia” an IRA atrocity on the M62 in Yorkshire.

The site “motorway services online” includes a section on an IRA coach bomb which went off near Hartshead Moor service station, West Yorkshire, in 1974.

Details of the bombing are contained under a “trivia” heading alongside news about a Waitrose store.

The gaffe was spotted by Kirklees Councillor Martyn Bolt who described it as “callous” and insulting.

“The dictionary says that trivia means insignificant, of small value or importance.”

Coun Bolt, who is Mayor of Kirklees, was 15 and a pupil at a nearby school, Whitcliffe Mount, when the explosion happened.

Twelve people died, including a couple, both 23, and their two sons, aged five and two.

The coach was taking soldiers and their families from Manchester to Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire when the bomb exploded.

A memorial made of Yorkshire stone was unveiled at the service station in 2009 to replace a plaque inside the building.

Coun Bolt has urged the website to change the heading but was disappointed by a reply he received on Twitter.

The site’s manager said: “Insensitive headings not intentional, but I’m struggling to find a section it should be under.”

He added: “I’m afraid I couldn’t add a new section to all 132 Services on the site to suit one item about a horrible event close to one motorway service area.”

Councillor Bolt suggested that the 1974 event might best be listed under In Memoriam.

But this was rejected by the site’s manager, who said: “That’s not a section of the site I’m afraid, never has been.”

He added: “To be honest, if you’re suggesting a feature is added to all 132 pages covering tragedies near motorway service areas, I find that morbid and inappropriate.”

Coun Bolt said: “The site should change the heading to something more appropriate which is not dismissive.”