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Biggest-ever load transported on Britain’s roads crawls at 4 mph

A giant power station transformer weighing 640 tonnes was being transported to its destination at 4 mph, brining traffic to a standstill.

ALLELYSThe vehicle used for transformer transport  was 100 m long and 5 m wide and weighed more than space shuttle whilst carrying the transformer. It took up two lanes of the motorway  and required a team of 20 to accompany the vehicle. A team of six heavy haulage experts took nine months to plan this type of transport as it has never before been attempted in the UK.

The slow journey began on Friday at Didcot – a coal fired power station in Oxfordshire which was disconnected from the National Grid in March after 43 years of service.  The load was crawling along the M4 on Saturday and continuing along the M32 on Sunday to its destination at Avonmouth Docks, Bristol, arriving at 6 p.m. The transformer will finally be transported by sea to Cottam power stations near Retford, Nottinghamshire.

Due to the weight of the transformer, road conditions had been checked for months prior to the transport. The load was escorted by police at the expense of the haulier, Allelys Heavy Haulage.

Robert Ford, Allelys transport manager has never undertaken such transport in the 23 years’ work experience. He said: “It’s exciting when a job like this comes along. It makes the job interesting because every job is different.”

Health and safety legislation prevented vehicle escort for heavy loads in darkness so police had to manage the roads during the day while the transformer was being transported.

Motorists were advised to take alternative routes as there are only a few locations where this type of traffic can pass.

The generator transformer is the second and largest of three being removed from Didcot power station as part of its decommissioning programme. The first was moved at the beginning of the month.

Source: Daily Mail