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Roads and highways - weight limits

Weight restrictions can be imposed for structural or for environmental reasons. It is legal control on a specified vehicle weight or width, mainly on lorries, on certain roads and routes.

The restriction prevents large vehicles from using inappropriate roads, routes and areas in order to:

  • reduce danger to pedestrians and other road users
  • prevent damage to buildings, roads and bridges
  • preserve the character, amenity and environment of an area
  • reduce and manage congestion on the roads
  • procedures for implementation
  • restrictions are subject to a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) and the associated procedures
  • regulatory signs are erected on site to give effect to the TRO and to assist the police in carrying out its enforcement

This is a matter for the Police. However, the Police have limited resources to enforce this type of restriction (especially environmental restrictions). Restrictions with "except for access" exemption clauses covering a large area can be difficult to enforce. However these exemptions are needed to permit HGV access to local shops, businesses, residential properties for deliveries/removals etc. For this reason, physical measures should also be considered but this is often not possible. Restrictions will not be used if there is no suitable alternative route for the displaced traffic.

Additional Considerations
Where a Traffic Regulation Order restricts the use of a road, route or area to certain vehicles, the signing of a recommended alternative route will need to be considered.

Updated: 28 Oct 2014
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