Bank Holiday 5mph ‘road train’ leaves tonight

The convoy is set to slow down traffic on the busiest day of the year.
The convoy is set to slow down traffic on the busiest day of the year.

HOLIDAYMAKERS could get steamed up this weekend as a ‘road train’ threatens to slow down busy Bank Holiday traffic.

Three steam locomotives and a trailer leave Horsham at 2am on Friday August 26 to travel 114 miles to Dorset for a fair - at an average of just 5mph.

The engines are heading from Horsham in Sussex to the Great Dorset Steam Fair at Tarrant Hinton in Dorset before the five day event begins on Wednesday 31st August.

The convoy is scheduled to arrive at the show site around lunch time on Sunday 28th August.

Police have warned people to leave more time for their journeys along the A24, A27 and into Hampshire.

Denise Searle, Director at Les Searle Plant Hire and Sales Ltd, is joint owner of the engines with her husband Les. They each will be driving an engine in the convoy along with a total of thirteen family and friends, including three children to assist with the journey.

Denise said: “We have a trailer that belongs to The Great Dorset Steam Fair and needs to go back to Tarrant Hinton in time for the show.

“GDSF Managing Director Martin Oliver said to me ‘Why not take it back by steam?’ so I made some phone calls to the authorities and it appeared that this would be possible.

“The Police, Councils and Network Rail have all been absolutely fantastic in helping to allow this to happen and we can’t thank them enough.

“We are also hoping to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust by doing this, as well as providing many spectators along the route with a taste of yesteryear.”

Sussex Police said it was consulted about the road convoy.

West Sussex County Council said most of the journey will be on dual carriageways, “meaning traffic will be able to pass”.