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Summer misery for motorists in Shropshire and Mid Wales as massive turbines to be transported  

Credit:  Shropshire Star | April 7, 2016 | www.shropshirestar.com ~~

Massive lorries carrying wind turbine parts will move through Shropshire and Mid Wales this summer, causing delays for motorists.

Wales transport minister Edwina Hart has confirmed work on the Tirgwynt Wind Farm, between Cefn Coch and Carno, will go ahead this August.

The turbines will be 383 feet high.

Mrs Hart said turbine transporters will travel along the busy A483 from Oswestry, passing through central Welshpool towards Castle Caereinion and along the B4385 through Cefn Coch to Tirgwynt.

The convoy is expected to travel at an average speed of 30mph on A-class roads and 20mph on other roads.

It will consist of two or three Abnormal Indivisible Load (AIL) vehicles, escorted by police vehicles, police outriders, a traffic management team and a dedicated convoy support service.

Sara Powell-Davies, communications manager for RenewableUK Cymru, said a strategic Traffic Management Plan (sTMP) for Mid Wales Wind Farms had been developed to manage the delivery of turbine components from Ellesmere Port to the Strategic Search Areas (SSA) in Mid Wales, passing through Wrexham, Chester, Oswestry, Newtown and Welshpool.

She said AIL delivery vehicles will consist of an articulated vehicle and extendable trailer designed for the transportation of wind turbines with a blade length of approximately 45 metres and tower section width of 4.5 metres.

“The convoy will be accompanied by a police escort at all times to ensure the safety of other road users and the free flow of traffic,” she said.

“We have had dry runs and the AILs sailed through the route and other wind farms have been delivered to the area successfully, we even have a video.”

She said information will be widely published to ensure that local residents and other road users are aware of turbine deliveries up to four weeks in advance.

Mobile variable message signs will be located at key points along the route to advise drivers of planned turbine movements and any anticipated delays that are expected to be “no more than 10 minutes”.

She said: “Tirgwynt Wind Farm is located over land called Mynydd yr Hendre and Pistyll Du.

“Planning permission was granted in October 2013. There will be 12 turbines with an installed capacity of up to 24.6MW.

“It is anticipated that the turbines will be installed and ready to produce power by December 2016.

“The wind farm was originally developed by West Coast Energy but it is now being run by Belltown Power Limited. It will use the Ellesmere Port to Welshpool route.

“However, they are not shipping to Ellesmere Port but will be joining the A483 near Chester and will go as far as the A458 and B4385 junction about four miles west of Welshpool.

“A total of £49,200 per annum is to be made available – 75 per cent for host communities and 25 per cent for a wider fund.

“The wider fund will be ringfenced for a limited period of time for communities along the access route.”

The sTMP states that the convoy will follow the existing one-way system through Welshpool town centre and due to the width of the carriageway short-term temporary diversions will be required at the A490 roundabout where oncoming traffic will be diverted onto the B4381 to avoid A458 Raven Street. Following westbound traffic will be able to pass the convoy by diverting onto Jehu Road and Brook Street.

Potential layover areas, which will allow the journey from Ellesmere Port to the sites to be split, have been identified at locations such as Mile End, south of Oswestry, Pool Quay to the north of Welshpool, Abermule to the north of Newtown and the Mochdre Link south of Newtown.

The convoy will take approximately two hours to travel the route from Ellesmere Port Dock to Welshpool.

She said there were originally six projects (five wind farms and an overhead power line connection) in the conjoined public inquiry in Mid Wales.

“Tirgwynt was approved before the Public Inquiry took place so did not form part of it,” she said.

Source:  Shropshire Star | April 7, 2016 | www.shropshirestar.com

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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