POLICE are warning motorists to expect ‘weeks of traffic disruption’ after the movement of huge turbine components for a South Lakeland windfarm got underway today.
The first blades for the Armistead windfarm at Old Hutton were carried on 50 metre-long transporters, on Monday, travelling northbound on the M6 and arriving at junction 36 at around mid-morning.
From there, the slow moving lorries took around an hour to reach their destination on the B6254.
A spokesman for Cumbria Road Policing Unit said the movement of turbine sections would carry on over 'several weeks' with a break for the Christmas period.
A police spokesman said: “The vehicles used for the blades are 'trombone wagons' are 50 metres in length on their inward journey, and once they have been to the site will be 'shrunk' down to 50 feet to make the outward journey. Other components such as the nacells, tower sections will be carried on smaller but heavier trucks, which will also be the subject of police escorts.
“With the exception of a break over the Christmas and New Year periods, (the deliveries) will take several weeks and are subject to weather conditions due to the nature of the route and the safety requirements in respect of the craning off of the components once on site which are obviously adversely affected by snow, ice and wind speed.
“The inward journey to Armistead is northbound on the J.36 of the M6 motorway, then north on the A65 from Crooklands to Oxenholme, where the lorries will turn right along Helmside Road, and then right again onto the B6254 to travel from Oxenholme Station out through the villages of Middleshaw and Old Hutton, then on to the site of the windfarm development.
“The wagons will be slow moving due to their length and the requirement to use the all-wheel steer capability that will be required to negotiate some of the route. Motorists are asked to avoid the area or to consider taking an alternative route to avoid being delayed.
“The outward route is via Kitridding near Kirkby Lonsdale, but the trucks will obviously be unladen and will have been 'shrunk' down to 50 feet by this time,not much larger than a standard HGV.”
The exception to the route was due to occur yesterday (Wednesday) with the movement of three blades from Flimby via the A66 and M6 southbound to junction 36, then to the site as with the other loads.
This delivery is expected to leave Flimby around 0930hrs and will arrive in South Cumbria by late morning, travelling directly to the site.