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National Grid will move an electricity transformer from Dover Docks to Sellindge via the M20 and Ashford this weekend

12 December 2013
by Suz Elvey

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

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

But there were delays in offloading it at the dock, which meant the journey was postponed.

The 75-metre long transformer was delayed due to tidal surges

The 75-metre long transformer was delayed due to tidal surges

Escorted by police outriders, the transformer will now leave Dover Docks at 7.30am on Saturday, transported aboard a special vehicle which is 5.6 metres wide and which requires a vehicle at either end to propel it.

The large load, the size of a house, will join the M20 at junction 13 and travel towards Ashford.

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

Drivers are 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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