A number of roads north of Bath have been temporarily closed this evening as a 640 tonne abnormal loads is escorted off the M4 at junction 18.
Allelys Heavy Haulage of Studley is transporting transformers from Didcot power station to Avonmouth Docks.
The load is taking up two lanes on motorways and both lanes of single carriageway stretches of road, which has forced the temporary closure of the A46 and A420.
The loads are almost 100m long and 5m wide, weigh around 640 tonnes and will travel at an average four mph – walking pace – and even more slowly on uphill stretches.
The huge abnormal load has now exited the M4 at Tormarton for the A46 and is heading to the Tog Hill parking area on the A420 with an ETA of 6pm for an overnight rest stop.
Tomorrow, Sunday 17th November, the load will leave the Tog Hill parking area at about 9am, reaching Avonmouth at about 6pm.
As the load is too heavy for the M4 near junction 19, it has to use A roads on part of its journey through the Bath area.
On Sunday it will undergo a series of safety checks before leaving at about 9am. It will be escorted along the A420 and is expected to arrive at Wick by about 11am. When it reaches the village there will be a delay as steel plates are laid on the road where it passes over two culverts.
The route then takes it to the A4174. When it reaches the Bromley Heath roundabout the road will be closed from there to the M32 junction so that the load can travel on the wrong side of the dual carriageway to avoid a weak bridge.
At the junction with Bristol Road, the load will return to the correct carriageway and continue onto the M32, rejoining the M4 before taking the M5 to Avonmouth.
The provisional dates for the third load to be transported are Saturday 23rd November and Sunday 24th November – but this could be subject to change.