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Locals cut off by Griffin windfarm crane accident  

Credit:  By Richard Burdge, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 5 September 2011 ~~

The fears of a Perthshire community were realised at the weekend after an accident involving a large crane blocked a road, forcing them to make an 80-mile round trip to their nearest town.

The normally short route into Dunkeld was cut off on Saturday following the accident on the A822 near Trochry. The crane came off the road, and was left perched above the River Braan.

The crane was heading for the site of the Griffin windfarm near Aberfeldy when it came to grief on a road which locals had warned was unsuitable for the traffic generated by the windfarm.

Branded “an accident waiting to happen”, locals said the incident vindicated their opposition to the use of the A822 by large vehicles.

“Dozens of large timber lorries ply up and down the road on a daily basis removing thousands of tonnes of timber off the windfarm site,” said local resident Joan Brookes.

“Two convoys of abnormal loads drive up and down the road five days a week – with one convoy on Saturdays – and cranes, like the one currently half off the road, are up and down every day.

“Local drivers have learnt from bitter experience to drive very cautiously on their way to work, shops or school for fear of meeting one of these HGVs.

“On many occasions when HGVs meet on a narrow stretch of this road, one is forced to reverse until a wide enough bit of road where they can pass.”

The accident meant the abnormal load convoy of turbine parts heading for Griffin was delayed down at the Dunkeld end of the A822 waiting until it could get up to the windfarm site.

SSE Renewables said the incident was being investigated.

“We apologise for any inconvenience but the main thing is that no one was injured,” said the company.

On Sunday, traffic lights were put into operation to allow locals to make use of the road. Hardcore had been poured down the steep slope and concrete pads laid on to assist the rescue effort.

Anger at the incident remained and Mrs Brookes said people were annoyed that news of the incident only reached them via the local grapevine, with a number of people heading along the road only to discover their path blocked.

She said she thought it backed up their calls for a one-way system to operate along the route for vehicles heading for Griffin.

“What do we know? We only live here,” she said.

With winter approaching she feared that large vehicles meeting each other on the road could lead to similar accidents in the coming months.

She said most people in the area were self-employed and such accidents damaged their livelihoods and could put visitors off.

The windfarm should be completed in 2012.

Source:  By Richard Burdge, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 5 September 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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