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Abnormal loads

The movement of large or heavy loads is known as abnormal loads. Before a haulier can move abnormal loads he must gain consent from the Police, the Highway Authority and bridge owners along the proposed route.

An abnormal load can generally be described as a vehicle that:

  • carries more than 44 tonnes
  • an axle load of more than 11.5 tonnes
  • is more than 3 metres wide
  • is more than 18.75 metres long

An abnormal load can potentially go on any road provided the haulier complies with the law. Some roads are more suitable and more extensively used for example; A Class roads.

The Highway Authority

Wolverhampton City Council is the Highway Authority responsible for all public roads within Wolverhampton, Bilston, Tettenhall and Wednesfield.

For movement of abnormal loads through the above areas the haulier must indemnify the Highway Authority and all bridge owners along the proposed route against any damage its vehicle may cause to any road, bridge or other structure.

Notice periods required for the various weight limits:

  • Gross weight up to 80,000kgs (78.74 tons) - 2 clear working days notice with indemnity to the highway authority and bridge owners
  • Gross weight exceeding 80,000kgs (78.74 tons)and up to 150,000kgs (147.63 tons) -  2 clear working days notice to the Police and 5 clear working days notice with indemnity to the highway authority and bridge owners
  • Gross weight exceeding 150,000kgs (147.63 tons) - Highways Agency Special Order required (8 weeks notice) plus clear days notice to Police and 5 clear working days notice with indemnity to the highway authority and bridge owners.

Movement notifications should be either faxed or emailed to our offices:

and include the following information:

  • haulage operators name
  • start and finish date
  • the destination and proposed route
  • description of the load (height, width, weight and length of vehicle)
  • description of vehicle (registration number and type of vehicle)
  • details of Public Liability Insurance

An assessment of the proposed route will be undertaken to identify any problem areas, for example, low or weak bridges, roadworks or narrow roads. Costs associated with undertaking this assessment may be passed onto the haulier.

Temporary removal of street furniture

If the temporary removal of street furniture is required to allow passage of vehicles due to their length, width, height or a combination of these factors along the proposed route, this will be arranged by the Councils Transportation Network Management Service. The notice period for such requests is 5 clear working days. All costs associated with the removal and re-erection of street furniture will be recharged back to the haulier.

Further information

For full details of the notification requirements for large and heavy loads, read the guidance published by the Department of Transport.

The regulations regarding the movement of abnormal loads is contained in the Government Statutory Instrument 2003 No. 1998, The Road Vehicles.

For further information regarding making an Abnormal Load notification or discuss a proposed route please use one of the contact methods detailed on the following contact page.