Abnormal Loads

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An abnormal load is: any load that cannot be broken down into smaller loads for transport without undue expense or risk of damage.  Movements of such loads are governed by:

This legislation requires notification to the police, with two clear days notice (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays). when dimensions exceed:

  • rigid length >18.62m or 61’ 2”
  • overall width >2.9m or 9’6”
  • weight > 80T or 81,000kg

When a load exceeds the maximum authorised weight for its class of vehicle, normally 44T, notification to Highways and Bridge Authorities, together with an indemnity, is also a necessity.

For emergency/short notice movements, North Wales Police will consider notifications with less than the compulsory 48 hours notice providing phone contact with the Abnormal Loads Officer has taken place.

Following verification, each notification is allocated an abnormal load number and instructions if required. Instructions will indicate if a private or police escort is necessary and will advise hauliers of roadwork’s and or events that could hinder or prevent safe movement of that load.  If a police escort is deemed essential, a charge will be levied for the service.

A private escort is not permitted to control traffic; its sole purpose is to warn the driver of the abnormal load or any other person, of any danger likely to be caused by the presence on the road of that vehicle. The Highways Agency offers codes of practice relating to self-escorting of abnormal loads.

Responsibility for the safety of the move and ensuring a route is appropriate rests with the operator and driver.

Movement of abnormal loads during the hours of darkness other than on the A55 or A483 is prohibited.  No Abnormal Loads should be in transit from 08:00 to 09:00 and 16:30 to18:00 hours weekdays or over bank holiday weekends.

Details of on-going and scheduled roadwork’s affecting trunk roads in North Wales can be found on http://www.traffic-wales.com/ Drivers are asked to check this site 24 hours prior to movement.

North Wales police encourage applications to dispense with the legally required 'TWO CLEAR DAYS' notice for movement of abnormal loads through the North Wales police area for loads under 3.5m in width on regularly used and approved routes only.

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Useful and related links:

North Wales Local Authority Roadwork and Road Closure links


  • Abnormal Loads Officer
  • Police Headquarters,
  • Glan y Don,
  • Abergele Road,
  • Old Colwyn,
  • LL29 8AW