The powers that be in the Swansea Valley are hoping there will be no fireworks on July 4 when huge lorries take to the roads.
The date – synonymous with American independence celebrations – has been chosen for the test run of abnormal vehicle loads to the new wind farm at Mynydd y Betws, near Pontardawe.
The trial, which is subject to weather conditions, will be supervised by officers from the Regional Roads Policing Unit.
A spokesman for Neath Port Talbot council said: “The aim is to identify any issues along the route that need to be addressed before the general movement of wind farm components can start later in the year, and to minimise any inconven- ience to local road users, residents and the business community during construction.
“The police will be monitoring the movement of the abnormal load, and liaising with the developer to ensure that any issues that are identified during the trial run are addressed. As such, the public should be prepared for the possibility of some delays, and should allow extra time for their journeys on the day.”
The 15 turbine develop- ment, by Irish electricity firm ESB, has drawn criticism from some valley residents who question whether emergency vehicles would be able to pass the convoy should the need arise.
Residents have set up a group called Communities Acting Together to show their concern.
One campaigner, Ron Williams, said: “Some of those vehicles are 60 metres long and with the turbines on board will weigh around 150 tonnes. We don’t think the roads will stand up to the strain, especially Gelligron hill, on the way up from Pontardawe, which has had problems in the past.”
The route of the trial run commences at Swansea Docks and runs along Fabian Way, joining the M4 motorway at Junction 42 (Earlswood).
At Junction 45 (Ynys- forgan) the special vehicle will exit the motorway and take the A4067 towards Pontardawe.
At Tesco’s roundabout in Pontardawe, it will then travel towards the A474 Swansea Road, turning left at The Cross traffic signals in Pontardawe, travelling through Rhyd y Fro, and onto the Wind Farm site.
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