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Turbine lorries will hit emergency services, claims councillor

Massive lorries carrying wind turbine parts through the region will cause major problems for emergency services, it is feared.

A councillor also claimed the lorries will put tourists off from visiting the area during the summer.

A public meeting has been called to address a number of concerns in Welshpool including the effect the vehicles will have on the area.

Welshpool Town Council is hosting the meeting next week after Wales transport minister Edwina Hart 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 meeting was called after issues were raised during a discussion at the last Welshpool Business Forum meeting.

Deputy mayor and councillor Steve Kaye, also chair of Welshpool Business Forum, said the lorries will cause major hold-ups during the most important part of the year in Mid Wales – the tourist season.

“Why did they not think about doing this during the winter months? The hierarchy doesn’t take into consideration that the summer months are vitally important for Mid Wales. It’s the tourist season. These months are the time when money is spent in our towns and villages,” he said.

“It’s bad enough that these wind farms are a big blot on Mid Wales’ beautiful landscape. They don’t blend into our lovely countryside.

“Also, how does anyone propose our emergency services get past while these lorries are driving along our roads?”

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.

“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.

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.

Another hot topic being raised at the meeting is antisocial behaviour blighting Welshpool.

In recent months yobbish behaviour has spiralled with human excrement found at the town’s railway station, as well as the discovery of a urine-filled fridge in a doorway in Berriew Street.

In a bid to tackle the problems, Welshpool Town Council has been calling for a Designated Public Place Order, which has now been renamed as a People and Place Order to restrict drinking in the town but says it is has been left disappointed as they have not received backing from Dyfed-Powys Police and Powys County Council in implementing it.

Councillor Kaye, who will chair next week’s meeting, said: “This is us trying to work with the police, not fighting against them. If this order was in place, it would mean another tool in the toolbox for the police.”

The public meeting will be held in the Council Chamber of Welshpool Town Hall next Monday, April 18, at 6pm.

The windfarm’s transport company and the police will be at the meeting, where the windfarm representative will explain and answer questions on the transport due to come in July and August. The police will also attend.