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Wingates wind turbine lorry gets stuck forcing four-mile detour for motorists

A vehicle delivering a wind turbine part to a site in Northumberland got stuck on a country road for over an hour.

The lorry got into difficulties as it made its way to the site at Wingates, near Longhorsley, on Monday morning.

Motorists travelling behind the vehicle were delayed while people who would normally travel the road faced four-mile detours.

The incident came on the back of another in December when another vehicle making its way to the wind farm site blocked the same road nearby after coming off the carriageway in icy conditions.

The incidents have raised questions about the suitability of Northumberland’s minor roads for deliveries of massive turbine parts.

Critics have also queried how the incidents have happened despite trial delivery runs having taken place.

Monday’s blockage came when a vehicle delivering part of a turbine tower to the Wingates Wind Farm site attempted to negotiate a sharp bend on the road from Southward Edge to the hamlet at a point known as Fiddlers Elbow, at around 11am.

The vehicle – with a Northumbria Police escort – cleared the bend but got stuck as it tried to make up way up the incline it leads on to, in “practically” dry conditions.

Witnesses reported the lorry making several attempts to get up the hill without success, and seeing its wheels spin.

It was said to be 65 minutes after getting stuck – at around midday – when the vehicle managed to continue its journey.

As well as the delays faced by those behind the vehicle, the blockage meant those who would have travelled the road having to take a four-mile detour via Netherwitton.

In December, a crane making its way to the wind farm site, where developer Infinis is erecting six 110m turbines, blocked the same road at a point around 200m away after leaving the carriageway in icy conditions.

Both incidents have prompted questions about whether the county’s minor roads are suitable for deliveries of large turbine parts as well as how the blockages occurred despite test deliveries having taken place.

Critics have also asked how Monday’s incident happened despite the road having been widened at the bend and additional tarmac laid to reduce the steepness of the incline.

Residents also say that the road surface is being damaged by the heavy vehicles, increasing the chances of people’s cars being damaged or accidents.

Last night, Northumberland County Councillor Glen Sanderson, whose division covers Longhorsley, said: “This is another example of the adverse effect that this wind farm at Wingates is having.

“It is bad enough causing noise and nuisance and significant damage to the roads but when the road is blocked on a second occasion it is simply unforgivable.”

Inifinis declined to comment.