Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Record-breaking abnormal loads to take to the roads of Wales

12 Jan 2024 4 minute read
Allelys abnormal load aerial picture (Credit: Traffic Wales)

The largest abnormal load movement ever seen in Wales will take place over the next three weekends on Welsh roads.

The Welsh strategic road network will transport three record-breaking abnormal loads in January: a transformer, turbine, and generator from Newport Docks to Hirwaun Power Station. These loads are the heaviest ever in Wales, with individual vehicle weights of up to 588 tonnes. The abnormal load movements will take place overnight between 20:00-06:00.

The trailer used to transport the load will measure, approximately, 6.7 metres wide, 78 metres long and will have 28 axles. The abnormal load will begin its 38-mile journey at Newport Docks, then carefully navigate the A48, A449, A40 and A465 carriageways before arriving on-site at the Hirwaun Power Station.

Closures of the A449, A40 and A465 carriageways will be required and at times there will be rolling road blocks on the abnormal load route. With the vehicle transporting the abnormal load travelling between 5-15mph, the advice is to consider using an alternative route and allow extra travel time.

The challenges posed by the site’s location can only be met by utilising the Welsh strategic road network rather than attempting delivery by rail.

A spokesperson for Traffic Wales said: “The movement requires careful collaboration with a range of partners including: the South Wales Trunk Road Agent (SWTRA) and Future Valleys, both working on behalf of the Welsh Government; Hirwaun Power; Allelys, the specialist hauliers, and a combined force of Gwent police and the South Wales Police who will escort the loads throughout.

“Months of preparation, planning and assessment have taken place to ensure that the 61 structures the load will traverse are capable of safely carrying it. In addition, the precise timings of the movement have been carefully coordinated with the current A465 dualling project.

“Once the turbine, generator and transformer have arrived on site, they will help manage the stability of the national power grid. This infrastructure will be used during periods of peak electricity demand and when intermittent renewable technologies are unable to produce the power required to keep the country running. Hirwaun Power Station will not operate more than 1,500 hours a year and as such, will help the country to transition to a lower carbon economy. Its 299MW capacity will generate enough electricity to power more than 150,000 households within a matter of minutes.”

Richard Jones, SWTRA’s Head of Service, added: “We’re delighted to be able to facilitate this movement on our trunk road network. A lot of hard work has taken between us and key partners to ensure this was achieved with the least amount of disruption possible to the network’s infrastructure and the people who use it.”

Allelys abnormal load (Credit: Traffic Wales)

Timings and dates:

The work will be carried out over three weekends 20:00 – 06:00 under carriageway closures as outlined below.

13 January – 14 January:

A449 closed northbound between the M4 J24 Coldra and Raglan.
A40 closed westbound between Raglan and Abergavenny.
14 January – 15 January:

A465 closed eastbound between the Glanbaiden Roundabout and Ebbw Vale West.
20 January – 21 January:

A449 closed northbound between the M4 J24 Coldra and Raglan.
A40 closed westbound between Raglan and Abergavenny.
21 January – 22 January:

A465 closed eastbound between the Glanbaiden Roundabout and Ebbw Vale West.
27 January – 28 January:

A449 closed northbound between the M4 J24 Coldra and Raglan.
A40 closed westbound between Raglan and Abergavenny.
28 January – 29 January:

A465 closed eastbound between the Glanbaiden Roundabout and Ebbw Vale West.
The works are being carried out overnight in January when traffic flows are historically lower to minimise disruption.

Saturday night: abnormal load departs Newport Docks at 20:00.
Sunday early morning: abnormal load arrives at Llanfoist layby point at approximately 01:00
Sunday night: A465 Eastbound Glanbaiden-Ebbw Vale West closure & diversion established. Abnormal load departs Llanfoist at 22:00
Sunday night: abnormal load arrives at the A470 Dowlais Top roundabout at 23:00.
Monday early morning: abnormal load arrive at A465 Hirwaun site at 06:00.
*These dates times are dependent on weather and are subject to change.

Allelys abnormal load (Credit: Traffic Wales)

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago

Will the developer be asked to pay something towards the inevitable road repair costs ?

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.