Concerns raised at turbine trial run
POLICE are hailing a trial run of a controversial wind turbine transport route through the Swansea Valley a success.
Loads of up to 159ft long are due to be driven from Swansea Docks through Pontardawe to the Mynydd-y-Betws site, near Cwmgors, later this year.
The plans have caused a storm of protest from people living along the route who have raised fears about congestion when the convoys are on the move and questioned what would happen to ambulances and fire engines that needed to get to emergency calls.
Residents have set up a group called Communities Acting Together to show their concern.
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One campaigner, Ron Williams, said: "Some of those vehicles are 60 metres long and with the turbines on board will weigh around 150 tonnes. We don't think the roads will stand up to the strain, especially Gelligron hill, on the way up from Pontardawe, which has had problems in the past."
Before the route is finalised the hauliers will have to submit a traffic management plan to South Wales Police.
Police, councillors, developers and residents were interested spectators on Wednesday as a trial run of the route was undertaken.
Afterwards a spokesman for South Wales Police said: "The trial run passed without incident but due to the size of the convoy and trailer there were some tailbacks during the journey."
Rhos resident William Lewis said: "It will slow traffic up a lot. They should consider trying a night-time journey to avoid traffic congestion and all its problems."
A spokesman for Irish electricity firm ESB, which is behind the 15 turbine development, was unavailable for comment.
Preparatory work has already been carried out on the route to modify at least two roundabouts in Pontardawe and a set of traffic lights on the town's crossroads, as well as lopping back some trees to allow the safe passage of the mammoth vehicles.