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Abnormal load movements for Suffolk County Council form part of UK-wide renewable energy network

We recently supported Suffolk County Council and fellow strategic partners with the first of three abnormal load movements as part of the local authorities’ role in enhancing the country’s renewable energy supply, alongside the UK Government.

The three movements are the largest attempted by Suffolk County Council, with the first having taken place on the 22nd October from Ipswich Docks to Eye Airfield.

Each one is a team effort, coordinated and completed in collaboration with McCann, Allelys, National Highways, Suffolk Police and Swarco, in support of the Drax Group,

The movement on the 22nd October got underway at 6am and was completed at 9pm. Careful planning was required ahead of the day – while critical decisions made on the day itself determined exactly where the load could safely pass in order to minimise disruption. In the end, the load used both the A14 and A140 in order to reach its final destination.

The length of each transport vehicle used as part of the movements is 80m, carrying an estimated 500-600 tonnes of weight. Special highway convoys escort each load along their designated route – with street furniture removed and trees trimmed, where necessary.

A second load is scheduled to be transported on Sunday 29th October, while a third will make its journey on Sunday 5th November, – with contingency dates of 19th and 26th November, as well as the 3rd December pencilled in.

Our team is scheduled to be involved in all three load movements and for Clive Leadbetter, Highways Director at McCann, this comes with tremendous responsibility.

“The most important thing for us when moving these loads is minimising public disruption and maintaining safety for everyone involved at all times,” explains Clive.

“It was a long day for the workforce, with the team on site in the early hours of the morning and not finishing until late into the evening. Moving loads of this size is no easy feat – which was demonstrated by the fact that the team had to install a temporary bridge on the A140 in order to continue the journey,”

“Assignments such as this require excellent teamwork and communication skills, and everyone involved demonstrated a real willingness to collaborate in order to ensure safe passage and delivery.”

Clive continues, “The combined efforts of all strategic partners were very commendable – and everyone connected to this effort is incredibly proud. There was a lot of public support along the route, which was great to see, and we look forward to making the following two movements as successful as the first,”

Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Ipswich, Operational Highways and Flooding, Cllr Paul West, said:

“A great deal of careful planning and joint working goes into an operation such as this one. I am delighted that this hard work paid off and the first abnormal load was transported to its destination successfully. I want to thank communities that were affected by this move for their understanding, cooperation and for coming out to wave the team on as they travelled by!

“As teams are busy planning the move of the second load, I encourage all to follow Suffolk Highways on Twitter and Facebook to watch our journey through live updates on the ground.”

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