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Home   Ashford   News   Article

Electricity transformer to move through Kent at 12mph via A20 and M20 from Dover Docks

14 December 2013
by Suz Elvey

Dramatic tidal surges meant a 318-tonne electricity transformer due to travel from Dover Docks, through Ashford to Sellindge last Sunday has had to stay put until today.

The 75-metre long transformer has spent most of the day travelling at a maximum speed of around 12mph along the A20, B2011 Folkestone Road and M20 with a police escort.

There were delays in offloading it at the dock last weekend, which meant the journey was postponed for a week.

The transformer travels on the M20 en route to Sellindge. Picture Ruth Cuerden

The transformer travels on the M20 en route to Sellindge. Picture: Ruth Cuerden

Escorted by police outriders, the transformer left Dover Docks this morning - around two hours late at about 9am - transported aboard a special vehicle 5.6 metres wide and which requires a vehicle at either end to propel it.

The large load, the size of a house, joined the M20 at junction 13 and travelled towards Ashford.

To limit the use of bridges, the vehicle left the M20 at junction 9 and briefly re-joined the motorway going eastwards before leaving again at junction 10 and travelling onto the substation in Church Lane, Sellindge.

Transformer moving at 12 miles an hour in Dover on its travels to Sellindge

Transformer moving at 12 miles an hour in Dover on its travels to Sellindge

The electricity transformer leaving Dover Docks this morning. PIcture @KentPoliceRoads

The electricity transformer leaving Dover Docks this morning. PIcture: @KentPoliceRoads

Drivers were asked to avoid parking in narrow areas along the route, particularly the B2011 Folkestone Road in Dover.

National Grid spokesman Rozi Pearson said: “The postponement of the transformer delivery from Dover Docks to National Grid’s Sellindge Substation was unavoidable.

“It was due to delays in offloading the transformer from the ship with the dramatic tidal surges and rough water over the previous few days meaning it was unsafe to carry out the operation.

“The offloading was finally completed on Sunday and despite every effort being made to move the transformer as planned there was not enough time remaining to move the transformer to Sellindge on the day.

"In consultation with the police it was agreed the movement of the transformer should be rescheduled.”

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