You thought it was bad on the M25? Wait for this

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The Independent Online
BY NOW, regular sufferers on the M25 probably think they have seen it all - jams today, jams tomorrow, jams next week. But they would be wrong.

Next month they will be treated to the sight of the biggest load to make its way along Britain's benighted thoroughfare, believed to be the biggest the country has yet seen.

It will be a 100m-long truck and trailer combination carrying a 370- tonne cargo and weighing in at a total 650 tonnes. Two tractors will pull the 60m trailer, and another will push from behind, with the drivers linked by radio.

The cargo is a turbine for a new gas-fired power station being built at Enfield in north London, and has to be moved there from Tilbury docks.

Its progress between junctions 30 and 25 is the last stage of a journey that will bring it all the way from Mannheim in Germany, where it was made, and the only part to be done by road. Previously it travelled on a barge down the Rhine and across the Channel.

The road trip, which has been a year in the planning, will take place overnight on 28 and 29 November. It is being done at night and at the weekend to minimise congestion, but travelling at about 4mph it should still be on the go by 6am on the Sunday morning.

"We believe this is the biggest load ever to travel on a public road in this country," said Ing Fischer, route manager for the Highways Agency, which is overseeing the project. "It is definitely the biggest to have been on the M25 and I am told that it is the second biggest in the world."

The trailer will have 26 axles and 102 wheels. The 50 bridges and crossings along the route have had to be tested to make sure they can cope, and clearances were checked with a wooden pole mounted on the back of a truck.

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