September 22, 2012

Swansea Valley mum blasts delays as turbine delivery affects school run

South Wales evening Post | 22 September 2012

A Swansea Valley mother has blasted the developers of a wind farm after the transport of its huge turbines delayed the school run.

The mum who does not want to be named said huge lorries heading towards Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm, near Pontardawe, caused her to be 25 minutes late picking up her diabetic six-year-old son.

She said traffic was at a standstill for half an hour leaving her late getting to Rhyd-y-Fro Primary School.

She added: “My son is a diabetic so normally the first thing he has when he comes out of school is a little snack to keep him going.

“I was in a bit of a panic and I didn’t have a signal on my phone.”

She was coming from Ammanford when she was stopped by traffic police near Abernant.

“The police just cut off the traffic with no explanation and we were stuck there for around half an hour,” she said.

“I think it’s disgusting, all the hours they have in the day and they did it at that time.”

Pontardawe councillor Linet Purcell, who has campaigned against any disruption in her ward, said: “I have been assured again and again that no turbines would be travelling through Pontardawe during the school run. The last convoy is supposed to arrive on site at 3pm to avoid disruption.

“Despite this, a convoy carrying a turbine tower passed Rhydyfro primary at 3.20pm at the exact time that the children were leaving school.

“We have been asking questions and trying to anticipate and avoid these problems for more than 12 months and have been constantly reassured by the developers that rules were in place – that they were very experienced – and that all would be well.

“And yet, only six working days after these runs begin we have this absolute chaos. We have had to take their assurances on trust. How can we continue to trust them if this is allowed to happen?”

A spokesman for the developer said: “We would like to sincerely apologise for disruption caused to local schools and residents by a delayed turbine component delivery to the wind farm site on Thursday coinciding with the school finishing time.

“We have launched a full investigation into the delay but initial findings indicate that the delivery in the afternoon was delayed by logistic issues with the turbine manufacturer. We would like to assure residents that we have now put additional measures in place to ensure that future deliveries will not coincide with school finishing time.”

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