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Claims of traffic breaches during work on Strathbraan wind farm site

A near miss involving a truck and a school bus is among the catalogue of apparent infringements by developers since work began on a massive Highland Perthshire wind farm.

Recent weeks have seen the movement of massive turbine parts up the A9 and on to the back roads to the Griffin wind farm site at Strathbraan.

The escorted convoys are supposed to operate only at set, advertised times but locals claim they are being breached.

A website set up by protest body Amulree and Strathbraan Windfarm Action Group (ASWAG) details dozens of alleged incidents over the past four weeks.

The anonymous entries include allegations of speeding lorries, damage to the roads and private property by HGVs and unescorted loads going to the building site.

Complaints about lengthy delays – between 20 minutes and an hour – caused by slow-moving plant are also prevalent.

One driver said “a fully-laden forestry truck came very close to hitting the school bus at speed while the bus was parked at the Tomnagairn road end” on March 29. A complaint is also made about speeding log lorries the same day.

Three days earlier, an HGV crane was allegedly spotted reversing around a “blind bend”, 250m back to another bend and on to private property to allow two empty turbine transporters to pass.

The witness states, “It deliberately reversed onto and damaged private property beyond the 0.5m verge. This manoeuvre left tracks showing that the minimum passing width required was 7.6m, wider than the vast majority of the route.”

Another says, “Damage to both a telegraph pole and roadside verge. Pole left leaning. The edge of the tarmac is breaking up, and there is a deep rut at the edge of the road – which is a danger to other vehicles who may have to pull over to allow a large lorry to pass.”

A spokesman for developers SSE Renewables encouraged residents to report poor practices but said staff have been briefed on proper procedures.

She said, “We take safety extremely seriously and we closely monitor the movement of our traffic to and from the site and work alongside the local authority and police.

“If anybody has seen anything or has an issue, we would urge them to contact ourselves and the police immediately.

“We regularly speak to any of our staff and contractors related to the site and driving vehicles and reiterate the safety message associated with the traffic management plan.”