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Wagon becomes a Buda-pest as it gets stuck in mud.

Byline: Brian Daniel Northumberland reporter brian.daniel@ncjmedia.co.uk

ALORRY got stuck down a country lane while making a delivery to a wind energy site in Northumberland - and left an angry couple trapped on their farm.

The wagon, from Hungary, with a driver who spoke "very little English", was delivering to the Barmoor site near Berwick, where developer EDF Energy is erecting six massive wind turbines.

The driver is thought to have followed sat nav instructions up a narrow, unmade track, despite various warning signs, before getting stuck in mud.

The episode left the couple, for whom the track is the only vehicular access to and from their farm, unable to make car journeys in or out for a day, with the wife having to don wellies to wade across a stream and making her late for work as a result.

The articulated lorry with Hungarian number plates and belonging to Budapest firm Waberer's Optimum Solution, is thought to have been heading to the wind farm site to deliver telecommunications equipment at around breakfast time on Wednesday.

But the driver is said to have gone the wrong way after "blindly" following his sat nav instructions up the track to Roughting Linn Farm, home to prehistoric rock art near Ford.

The driver either did not see or did not understand signs in the area directing traffic to the wind farm and warning of no access for construction vehicles.

While negotiating the track, the front of the vehicle slipped off a cattle grid crossing a stream, and sank into mud, leaving it stuck. The driver knocked at the home of Bill and Agnes Matthewson, who live on the farm and are tenants of the Ford and Etal Estate, letting them know what had happened.

Mrs Matthewson made it to work at a garage in nearby Lowick only after pulling on her Wellington boots to cross the stream, as there was no way past the truck, and waiting for her boss to come and pick her up.

Mr Matthewson was meanwhile said to be unable to get home.

The wagon was freed at around 6.30pm, around 12 hours after becoming stuck.

Andrew Joicey, who farms at nearby Cornhill, happened upon the struck truck.

He said: "The lorry was in a most surprising place for a vehicle of that size.

"Clearly, the access track to Roughting Linn is completely unsuitable for articulated lorries."

EDF Energy Renewables' head of construction John Penman said: "We can confirm that a delivery vehicle working for the manufacturer supplying the turbines to the Barmoor wind farm, lost its way to site on local roads yesterday and got stuck in the soft verge at the entrance to Roughting Linn Farm.

"Fortunately, our contractors were able to remove the lorry and we would join them in apologising unreservedly to the tenants of the farm for the inconvenience this caused them and to any other road users who may have had their journey disrupted.

"Our site construction manager and our contractors have spoken with the tenants of the farm and we understand that the matter has now been resolved to the tenants' satisfaction.

"Since starting construction at the Barmoor site on May 6, we have had many truck movements and this is the first time an incident of this nature has taken place.

"It is, however, as far as we're concerned, one incident too many and we are working with our contractor to establish how the vehicle driver lost his way to ensure this does not happen again."

A Facebook page entitled Waberer's accidents features photos taken of the company's lorries following mishaps. More than 4,000 people have liked it.

CAPTION(S):

The lorry barely clears one of the <Btrees on the track to Roughting Linn Farm, trapping the couple who live

there

The lorry driver is cattle grid-locked after taking the wrong road

Jamie Hewison

There's no room for manoeuvre as the Weberer's wagon is stuck in the mud <B
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 21, 2014
Words:662
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