Standstill jams across Yeovil as Leonardo helicopter 'abnormal load' struggles to squeeze under bridge

There were standstill traffic queues in Yeovil today (July 30) as an “abnormal load” convoy travelled through the town. Part of a huge AW101 helicopter was transported from the Leonardo factory in Yeovil to a location in Wiltshire. The aircraft was strapped down securely to a large haulage truck as it made its journey.

The convoy ground to a halt on the A30 Queensway

The convoy, including police bikes, vans and escort marshals ground to a halt on the A30 Queensway at a low pedestrian footbridge.

The haulage truck eased slowly under the bridge, with the aid of a watcher on the pavement guiding the large load through. The escort marshal guiding the truck shouted, “you have less than half a metre”, as he waved the truck slowly under the bridge.

Standstill jams across Yeovil as Leonardo helicopter 'abnormal load' struggles to squeeze under bridgeThe haulage truck eased slowly under the bridge, with “less than half a metre” to spare, according to an escort marshal

Long traffic queues backed up behind the convoy on the A37 and A30 in Yeovil between 11am and 12pm as it slowly navigated the streets of Yeovil before heading to Wiltshire. After travelling through Yeovil, the convoy then journeyed along the A37 and A303.

Take a look at a gallery of images of the “abnormal load” convoy below Before the convoy set off, a spokesman for Avon and Somerset Constabulary explained what would happen. They said: “The load will leave Yeovil via the A37 through Ilchester and onto the A303 towards Wiltshire.

“Due to the height and width of the load a police escort which will assist in the safe movement of the convoy through Avon and Somerset.”

Standstill jams across Yeovil as Leonardo helicopter 'abnormal load' struggles to squeeze under bridgeDue to the height and width of the abnormal load, a police escort was needed

The police spokesman added: “The convoy will be slow moving and may cause congestion. “We encourage that road users to plan for a short delay along the route at this time. “We would like to thank our communities in advance for their patience.”

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