Abnormal load weighing 14.5 double decker buses to travel through Suffolk

The electrical transformer will be moved this weekend on Sunday, June 6

The electrical transformer will be moved this weekend on Sunday, June 6 - Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture Agency

An abnormal load, weighing the same as 14.5 double decker buses, will be escorted from Ipswich to Cambridge this weekend at a top speed of 20mph.

The load, a National Grid electrical transformer weighing 184 tonnes, is being moved from Cliff Quay in Ipswich to a substation in Burwell, Cambridge, on Sunday, June 6.

It measures 6.67m long, 5.35m wide, 4.67m tall and the total length of the transport vehicle will measure 60m.

While driving through built-up areas, the vehicle will travel at walking speed, then should be able to get up to 20mph on main A roads — over the Orwell Bridge it will move between 10-15mph.

The electrical transformer weighs 184 tonnes, the same as 14.5 double decker buses

The electrical transformer weighs 184 tonnes, the same as 14.5 double decker buses, and one was last moved through the county in 2018 as part of the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm project - Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture Agency

Specialist trailers will need to be used to support the weight of the transformer and alleviate pressure on the roads.

Suffolk Highways has been working with Highways England, Suffolk and Norfolk police, Allely, and Cambridgeshire County Council to prepare for the next abnormal load.

Suffolk Highways has already carried out some preparatory road sign removal works on Landseer Road and Nacton Road in Ipswich, as well as the A142 Fordham Road, Newmarket.

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The road signs will be reinstated the following day at 7pm each evening, with temporary traffic signals in place for approximately three hours while the work is carried out.

Lanes on the A14 at Newmarket will briefly close to let the load cross over the westbound to eastbound carriageway for the A142 slip road.

To get around permanent street furniture, the load will be on the opposite side of the carriageway at times. Police will enforce rolling road blocks at crucial points, such as crossing the Orwell Bridge, where both carriageways will be closed.

There will be stop off points where traffic will be released to mitigate congestion. 

Live location updates will be issued throughout the day via the Suffolk Highways Twitter account @Suff_highways

Rough timings have been released, but drivers are warned they are highly likely to fluctuate.

  • 8am: Leave Ipswich Port
  • 9.30am: Cross Orwell Bridge
  • 4pm: A14 Crossover
  • 6pm: Navigate Burwell
  • 8pm: Arrive at Substation

The route is:

1.      In reverse, exit Cliff quay onto Cliff Road

2.      In reverse, turn into Toller Road then Holywells Road. Pull forward onto Landseer Road

3.      Negotiate Nacton Road to A1198

4.      Negotiate A1198 to A14

5.      Negotiate A14 Eastbound

6.      Cross the Orwell Bridge (A14)

7.      Negotiate A14 Westbound

8.      Negotiate A1120 Stowmarket

9.      Negotiate A1308 Stowmarket

10.  Continue on A14 for 10.3 miles

11.  Exit A14 at junction 44

12.  Exit A14 at junction 43

13.  Exit A14 at junction 42

14.  Negotiate A14 Eastbound carriageway in wrong direction under Police rolling roadblock.

15.   Negotiate A14 onto A142.

16.  Negotiate A142

17.  Station Road - B1102

18.  High Street, Burwell

19.  Reach Road, Burwell

20.  Burwell Substation

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