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HGVs and abnormal loads

Large vehicles make up a significant proportion of the traffic on Norfolk's roads.

Apart from local farming activities or home deliveries, there are certain roads where there is little need for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) to use them.  This is because there are higher quality alternative routes available nearby.  Such roads are typically unclassified and warning signs discouraging HGV use are put up, because an HGV would have difficulty using the road or could cause damage.

Abnormal loads

When hauliers wish to move "abnormal" loads, they must inform the police, highway and bridge authorities of the routes that they intend to travel in advance.  The preferred routes for abnormal loads are Trunk roads and 'A' roads.

Guidance for transporting abnormal loads is available on the website.

If you are a haulier regularly transporting abnormal loads, you may wish to register with Electronic Service Delivery for Abnormal Loads (ESDAL) via the website.

If you do not regularly transport abnormal loads, you can still register with ESDAL or you can notify us directly by emailing or by writing to:

Community and Environmental Services
Norfolk County Council
County Hall
Martineau Lane

Requirements of hauliers of abnormal loads in Norfolk

  • Loads over 44T - haulier must inform police and highway authorities giving two days notice
  • Loads over 80T - haulier must inform police and highway authorities giving five days notice
  • Loads less than 44T but abnormal in size - police must be informed.
  • High loads over 5m - haulier must survey route and inform UK Power Networks and BT Openreach as necessary
  • Any width over 2.9m - police to be informed
  • Any width over 4m - private escort may be required
  • Loads over 6.1m wide, 18.65m long or 150T - require special order showing agreed route, issued by Highways England
  • Loads over 5m wide but less than 6.1m wide - require VR authorisation issued by Highways England (they do not lay down a mandatory route)

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