A 78-METRE long trailer will complete the “largest abnormal load movement” in Welsh road history this weekend, beginning its 38-mile journey in Newport.

Motorists have been advised to allow extra time for their journeys this weekend, commencing Saturday, January 13, as the first of the record-breaking loads – a transformer, turbine, and generator – make its way to Hirwaun Power Station near Aberdare.

Between 8pm, January 13, and 6am, January 14, the A449 northbound carriageway will be closed between junction 24 of the M4 (Coldra) and Raglan. The A40 westbound will also be closed between Raglan and Abergavenny,

The following night, the A465 eastbound carriageway will be closed between the Glanbaiden Roundabout and Ebbw Vale West.

The trailer used to carry the parts will measure approximately 6.7 metres wide, 78 metres in length and have 28 axles. The individual vehicle weights will be as high as 588 tonnes.

The special delivery will begin its journey at Newport Docks and involve “careful” navigation of the A48, A449, A40 and A465.

The site’s location means the load can only be delivered by using the road network, as opposed to rail, the Welsh Government has said.

The movement will require collaboration with a range of partners including the South Wales Trunk Road Agent (SWTRA) and Future Valleys (both working on behalf of the Welsh Government); Hirwaun Power; specialist hauliers Allelys, and; a joint task force comprising Gwent Police and South Wales Police to escort the loads.

It has taken months of preparation to ensure all 61 structures the load will traverse are capable of safely supporting the weight, while precise timings of the movement have been coordinated with the A465 dualling project.


The timing for each journey will take place as follows:

  • Saturday night: abnormal load departs Newport Docks at 8pm.
  • Sunday early morning: abnormal load arrives at Llanfoist layby point at approximately 1am.
  • Sunday night: A465 Eastbound Glanbaiden-Ebbw Vale West closure & diversion established. Abnormal load departs Llanfoist at 10pm.
  • Sunday night: abnormal load arrives at the  A470 Dowlais Top roundabout at 11pm.
  • Monday early morning: abnormal load arrive at A465 Hirwaun site at 6am.

Once on site, the turbine, generator and transformer will be used to support the national power grid during periods of peak electricity demand.

The 299MW capacity at Hirwaun should generate enough electricity to power more than 150,000 homes within minutes.

Richard Jones, head of service at SWTRA, said: “We're delighted to be able to facilitate this movement on our trunk road network. A lot of hard work has taken between us and key partners to ensure this was achieved with the least amount of disruption possible to the network’s infrastructure and the people who use it.”