Abnormal loads intro

The process of notifying the relevant authorities of an abnormal load on Northumberland's roads and our privacy statement.

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Abnormal loads – notification

When a haulier wishes to move loads classed as 'abnormal' (e.g. those with a gross weight exceeding 40 tonnes), they must notify the Streetworks team so that the proposed route can be assessed for roadworks, tight bends, bridge restrictions etc. 

Abnormal loads can potentially go on any road provided the haulier complies with the law but some roads are more suitable than others e.g. A class roads. It is the responsibility of the haulier to check suitability and survey the route however an alternative route may be suggested if a route is deemed unsuitable. 

All movements exceeding Construction and Use (C&U) regulations must be notified to the Police. Only those exceeding the weight criteria need to be notified to the authority, however we prefer to receive all notifications where transport exceeds the C&U regulations.     

In some cases, street furniture (e.g. street lights) may need to be removed to accommodate movements with these costs being met by the haulier. Advanced notice will be required in such instances.    

Notifications must include a form of indemnity to cover the haulier against possible damage to the highway network. Indemnities can be attached with each individual notice or sent annually to cover one year. 


Who do I notify of an abnormal load?

Some roads are looked after by agents e.g. A69, Roadlink, Aone etc. Where this is the case, the haulier must notify them directly. Where the route is a combination of county and agents, all the relevant parties along the route must be notified at the same time.   

There is no legal requirement to notify the height of a load. However, it is advisable to consult the authority to confirm the suitability of a suggested route, as there are designated high load routes identified.   

Hauliers must also gain consent from any affected third-party bridge owners e.g. Network Rail. 

Notice periods

Due to changes in our legislation, we now require five days clear notice of all movements. For loads between 80 and 150 tonnes, the haulier must also notify the police.   

The notice period for loads in excess of 150 tonnes, 6.1m wide or 27.4m long is different. Hauliers moving these loads need special orders from the Department of Transport/Highways England. 

More information on abnormal loads

For full details of the notification requirements for large and heavy loads, you can download the appropriate documentation from the Department of Transport website. 


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