June 6, 2012

Disruption alert to drivers over wind farm work

South Wales Evening Post, www.thisissouthwales.co.uk 6 June 2012

Road users in the Swansea Valley have been warned they face possible disruption over the coming weeks as preparations to build a wind farm gather pace.

Work started on the 15-turbine Mynydd y Betws wind-farm, above Pontardawe, last year.

Planning permission for the wind farm itself was granted by Carmarthenshire Council – though access to the site goes through Swansea, starting at the city’s docks, and Neath Port Talbot.

Residents have set up a group called Communities Acting Together to protest against the prospect of seeing vehicles of more than 50 metres long and weighing 150 tonnes travelling up the A474 through Pontardawe and up towards the site.

They also claim the loads will delay emergency services, will damage the route and lower property prices.

The firm behind the wind farm, Irish utility company ESB, said road safety measures were an integral part of the process.

Of the latest announcement, Owen Jenkins, a spokesman for Neath Port Talbot Council, said: “Enabling road works will start soon to facilitate the movement of large vehicles to the wind farm construction site at Mynydd y Betws.

“Works will be carried out at a number of locations on the designated route from the Tesco roundabout to Pontardawe Cross traffic lights in a three-week period after June 6.

“This will involve temporary changes to signage, existing junctions and roundabouts, including tree pruning and low level shrub clearance.”

“At Pontardawe Cross, locations of some traffic lights will change and one street lighting column will be relocated.

“Some minor works to the pavement in an area adjacent to the former Motorworld site are also necessary to accommodate ducting for the repositioned traffic lights.”

Other work will see the roundabout at the junction of the A474 and Swansea Road removed and replaced with a temporary layout.

And part of the roundabout at the junction of Ffordd Parc Ynysderw will be removed.

At the roundabout on the A474 and Ynysderw Road, minor work to the pedestrian barriers will be undertaken.

The council said that work would be timed to provide minimal disruption. Mr Jenkins added: “To minimise disruption, contractors have been instructed to carry out the work outside of peak hours.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to regular users along this route whilst these works are undertaken.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/06/06/disruption-alert-to-drivers-over-wind-farm-work/