Suffolk Highways supports transformer movement from Ipswich to Cambridgeshire


Plans are underway to facilitate a further transformer move on behalf of National Grid.

Following the successful delivery of two Scottish Power electrical transformers in 2018, works are underway to facilitate a further transformer move on behalf of National Grid.

The transportation will take place on Sunday 28 July 2019, starting at Cliff Quay in Ipswich, making its way through the County to National Grid’s substation in Burwell, Cambridgeshire.

Suffolk Highways teams, alongside Highways England, Suffolk and Norfolk Police, Allelys, National Grid and Cambridgeshire County Council have been working together to prepare for the move and staff from each service will play key parts throughout the day, ensuring that the operation is completed safely, whilst keeping disruption to a minimum.

Specialist trailers will be used which can support the weight of the transformer and ultimately reducing ground bearing pressure. The weight of the transformer equals 184 tonne (14.5 double decker buses), length of 6.67m and width of 5.35m.

To facilitate the move, temporary work has taken place to prepare the area at the Landseer Road/ Nacton Road and Rands Way roundabout in Ipswich. The work involved the removal of bollards and illuminated signs, which are now temporarily signed.

Preparation works will continue along A142 Fordham Road, Newmarket where a road closure will be in place from midday to midnight between 22 to 26 July. Suffolk Highways have worked with The Jockey Cub in Newmarket to ensure that disruption is kept minimal, and we are working to complete the works before Friday 26 July.

Street furniture will be removed throughout the route as well as tree trimming. Minor works will continue out of these hours however, the use of temporary traffic signals will be required.

Diversion route for Fordham Road

  • Head south on Fordham Rd/A142 towards Snailwell Short Road
  • At the roundabout, take the 1st exit and stay on Fordham Rd/A142
  • Turn right onto Fred Archer Way
  • Go through 1 roundabout
  • Continue onto Mill Hill/B1103
  • Turn left onto Swan Ln/B1103
  • Continue to follow B1103
  • Turn right onto The Causeway/B1102
  • Slight right onto Ness Rd/B1102
  • Continue onto Station Rd/B1102
  • At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto A142
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Newmarket Rd/A142
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Fordham Rd/A142

To negotiate permanent street furniture on Sunday, 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.

Works will start in August to replace the old street furniture with new assets which totals approximately £12K, this will be charged to the third party involved.

Councillor Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member responsible for Roads, Transport and Rural Affairs, said:

“It is great to hear that we are now working towards the next abnormal load following last years’ success. Last year, the teams executed this huge operation perfectly with minimal disruption, whilst providing live feeds across social media. It was fascinating to watch, and I hope to do that same this time around.”

“This just goes to show, that the teamwork shown throughout the service really does go a long way, whether it be in the planning or in the operation itself.”

“I would like to thank the teams involved as well as Suffolk’s road users. Several navigations will require slow and careful movements therefore, we would appreciate co-operation and patience from road users throughout the day.”