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If you're transporting an abnormal load, you need to tell the authorities and you might need to tell us. Find out more below: 

Abnormal Loads

An 'abnormal load' is a vehicle with any of the following:

  • weight over 44,000kg (43.3 tons)
  • an axle load of more than 10,000kg (9.84 tons) for a single non-driving axle or 11,500kg (14.7 tons) for a single driving axle
  • width over 2.9 metres (9.5 feet)
  • rigid length over 18.65 metres (61 feet)

If you're transporting an abnormal load, you need to tell the authorities and you might need to tell us.

How far in advance you need to tell someone, and who you need to tell, depends on the type, weight, width and length of the load.

The dimensions and weights of vehicles used on British roads are regulated by the:

In the tables below we use C&U and STGO to refer to limits set by these rules. Which C&U or STGO limits apply to you depends on the type and specifications of your vehicle.

Total weight of vehicle including the load Notification requirements
Over C&U limit up to 80,000kg (78.74 ton) Two working days notice with indemnity to road and bridge authorities.
80,000kg to 150,000kg (147.63 ton)

Five working days notice with indemnity to road and bridge authorities.

Two working days notice to the police.

Over 150,000kg (147.63 ton)

Five working days notice with indemnity to road and bridge authorities.

Five working days notice to the police.

Highways England special order. You should apply at least 10 weeks in advance. Highways England recommend you apply as early as possible. Approval is not automatic.

 

Width Notification requirements

C&U loads: over 2.9m (9ft 6ins) up to 4.3m (14ft 1 ins) wide

STGO loads: over 3.0m (9ft 10ins) up to 5.0m (16ft 5ins) wide

Two working days notice to police.
Over 5.0m (16ft 5ins) up to 6.1m (20ft) wide

Two working days notice to police.

Highways England form VR1. You should apply at least two weeks in advance. Highways England recommend you apply as early as possible. Approval is not automatic.

Over 6.1m (20ft)

Five working days notice to police.

Five working days notice with indemnity to road and bridge authorities.

Highways England Special Order. You should apply at least 10 weeks in advance. Highways England recommend you apply as early as possible. Approval is not automatic.

 

Length Notification requirements

C&U loads: over 18.65m (61ft 2in) up to 27.4m (90ft) long

STGO loads: over 18.75m (61ft 6 ins) long

Two working days notice to police.
Overall length of a vehicle combination over 25.9m (85ft) Two working days notice to police.

Over 30.0m (98ft 5ins)

Also some very light loads, for example yacht masts:

  • with a rigid length over 27.4m (89ft 11ins)
  • that are moved on conventional motor vehicles not exceeding 12 tonnes gross weight
  • or moved on trailers not exceeding 10 tonnes gross weight

Five working days notice to police.

Five working days notice with indemnity to road and bridge authorities.

Highways England special order. You should apply at least 10 weeks in advance. Highways England recommend you apply as early as possible. Approval is not automatic.

ESDAL

You can use Highways England's Electronic Service Delivery for Abnormal Loads (ESDAL) to notify the police, road and bridge authorities.

You need to register with ESDAL and this can take 2 to 3 working days.

Other Routing and Notification Services

Cumbria Police accept notifications via other routing and notification services.

Report to Cumbria Police 

You can notify us by emailing - abnormalloads@cumbria.police.uk

Travelling through more than one police force area

If your abnormal load will travel a route which passes through more than one police force area, you need to notify each force. ESDAL can send notifications to each force for you.

List of UK police force websites

For applications to dispense with the legal requirement to give ‘Two Days Clear Notice’ for loads under 3.5m traveling through Cumbria they should apply via the Abnormal load email address - abnormalloads@cumbria.police.uk

Additional information can be obtained from Highways England and the Gov.uk web sites - please see related links at the right of this page.