Suffolk Highways supports second transformer movement from Ipswich to Cambridgeshire


Suffolk Highways has been working with Highways England, Suffolk and Norfolk Police, Allelys, and Cambridgeshire County Council.

We have been working together to prepare for the next abnormal load - transformer movement, on behalf of National Grid. The movement will take place on Sunday 6 June and commence from Cliff Quay in Ipswich, carefully manoeuvring its way through parts of Suffolk to National Grid’s substation in Burwell, Cambridgeshire.

Specialist trailers will be used which can support the weight of the transformer whilst alleviating pressure on the roads. The weight of the transformer equals 184-tonne (14.5 double decker buses), has a length of 6.67m, width of 5.35m and height of 4.67m. The total length of the vehicle will be 60m.

Prior to the move, Suffolk Highways carried out some preparatory road sign removal works on both; Landseer Road/Nacton Road, Ipswich and A142 Fordham Road, Newmarket. The teams will return following the transformer movement, on Monday 7 June (A142 Fordham Road, Newmarket) and Sunday 13 June (Landseer Road/Nacton Road), to reinstate the road signs. This work will commence at 7pm each evening, for approximately three hours, with temporary traffic signals being in place.

As Suffolk Highways anticipated future abnormal load movements like this, works were carried out to replace permanent street furniture with, easily, removable bollards. This limits the amount of work and disruption required during the lead up to abnormal load movements. On the day of the transformer movement, highways teams will be leading and following the vehicle to prepare the route, temporarily removing and reinstating the street furniture and trimming trees. This will enable the transformer to be transported, whilst avoiding additional delays and keeping disruption to a minimum for members of the public.

There will be lane closures in place along A14 at Newmarket to allow for the load to cross over from the west-bound to the east-bound carriageway to access the A142 slip road. This will be managed by Highways England and Suffolk and Norfolk Police.

To negotiate permanent street furniture on the day of the move, the load will be travelling on the opposite side of the carriageway at times. Suffolk Highways’ Traffic Management teams will be leading the load, to manage traffic safely, whilst Suffolk and Norfolk Police will also be enforcing rolling roadblocks. A rolling road block will be enforced at crucial areas of the move, particularly when crossing the Orwell Bridge. The east and west bound carriageway will be closed for a short period to ensure full safety of road users.

To limit the impact on the travelling public, there will be a stop off points where traffic will be released in order to mitigate congestion.

Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Ipswich, Operational Highways and Flooding, Cllr Paul West said:

“Months of logistical planning goes into these moves so I would like to thank those involved at Suffolk Highways, as well as Highways England and Suffolk Police who will also play a crucial part on the day.”

“Whilst we aim to complete the move with limited disruption, there may be some inconvenience caused, so your patience as ever is very much appreciated.

“Similarly, to previous years, live location updates will be issued throughout the day via the Suffolk Highways Twitter account."