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 highway and bridge authorities of the routes that they intend to travel in advance.  Norfolk Police also need to be informed.

Highway and bridge authorities are Norfolk County Council, Highways England and Network Rail.

The preferred routes for abnormal loads are Trunk roads and ‘A’ roads.

Notifications of transporting an abnormal load should be made in writing to:

The Abnormal Loads Officer
Environment, Transport and Development Department
Norfolk County Council
County Hall
Martineau Lane
Email:  Abnormal loads

Norfolk County Council receives around 250 notifications a month, and these loads are carefully routed through the county with the close co-operation of the Police, to ensure that the operation is carried out safely and with minimal impact on the environment.

Requirements of hauliers of abnormal loads

  • Loads over 44T - Haulier must inform Police and Highway Authorities giving 2 days notice
  • Loads over 80T - Haulier must inform Police and Highway Authorities giving 5 days notice
  • Loads less than 44T but abnormal in size - Police must be informed.
  • High loads over 5m - Haulier must survey route 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, 18.75m 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)