After liaising with Transport for London regarding the Direct Vision Standard 2024 changes (expressing the difficulties members are facing as a result of the upcoming changes) TfL has confirmed to the association that there is a grace period that runs from 28th Oct 2024 to midnight on 31st Jan 2025 for 1 & 2* rated vehicles. Details on how to apply will become available next year, but essentially, we understand that if an operator can prove they have booked a vehicle to have equipment fitted with a fitter, that is sufficient to be granted the use of the grace period.
The HTA is working with TfL on exemptions for STGO vehicles and we anticipate a further announcement will be made in due course.
Following on from a recent announcement that Merseyside Police had changed their Abload notification requirements from 1 VRN to 5, it was disappointing to see neighbouring forces changed theirs to 1! Following further communication and collaboration between the Abloads working group and NPCC, the HTA is pleased to announce that Merseyside, Cheshire, Staffordshire and West Midlands police force areas will now accept up to 5 VRNs per notification.
The region is also seeking to align embargo times on their roads to ease administrative and planning burdens placed on members with recent changes to Police enforcement of Abloads.
The HTA welcomes this common sense approach of regional consistency and will continue to work with stakeholders to improve the situation throughout other UK regions.
Following on from constructive engagement with NPCC the HTA is pleased to announce that, as from 01 October 2023, Merseyside Police will accept up to 5 vehicle registrations per movement notification. Up until now, Merseyside had limited this to just one which meant that should a haulier needed to substitute a vehicle (breakdown, delays/operational issues etc) a completely new notification was required, resulting in delays and additional costs.
The HTA Chairman Marcus Gough commented “I welcome this announcement by Merseyside Police through the NPCC and believe HTA members and the wider sector will do likewise. It means that operators now have the flexibility to react to operational circumstances to ensure that goods are delivered within planned timescales. The HTA has worked tirelessly with NPCC conveying members concerns of inconsistent Policing of Abloads throughout the UK, so its fantastic to see some tangible progress through engagement and collaboration with changemakers. The HTA continues this dialogue and look forward to further announcements soon to the benefit of the membership”
The RHA, together with the Heavy Transport Association, the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, and National Caravan Council has repeated calls on the police to make the regulations on moving large or heavy cargo around the country consistent and fair.
We continue to receive reports from members claiming that some officers are enforcing blanket movement embargoes on abnormal loads which they say are increasing both red tape and cost.
The RHA, together with the Heavy Transport Association, the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, and National Caravan Council have called on a number of chief constables to confirm if their forces are following College of Policing guidelines on Special Types General Orders (STGO).
If you are an operator responsible for the notification and/or movement of heavy loads, you can have your say by completing our Restrictions/Enforcement of UK Abnormal Loads Online Survey.
Survey is now closed (midnight 27 August 2023)
Following a disappointing increase in recent incidents of damage to bridges, Transport Scotland have requested the assistance of the HTA in promoting good practice.
Striking a bridge with your vehicle has SERIOUS consequences!
At best, damage to your vehicle and loss of earnings - at worst, cause INJURY or DEATH.
CHECK IT: PLAN IT: DO IT!
Always display the height of your vehicle in the cab as a reminder; this is the law if your vehicle is higher than 3m/10 feet.
Always obey the height signs on bridges
Don’t risk wasting a life, your job, your vehicle or getting a jail sentence.
If in doubt – CHECK IT OUT!
West Midlands Police have requested a reminder to the sector that the M42 is due to be closed between J5 & J6 northbound over the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend (including the Monday 8 May Coronation day holiday) and that there is an embargo on all AIL moves on Bank Holidays. Diversions will be in place but any AIL movement on a Bank Holiday or travelling off-route risks enforcement action.
The Heavy Transport Association continues dialogue with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) as part of a wider working group in collaboration with industry associations.
We need your direct support for the next stage of meetings due later this month. Specifically, we are seeking evidence where Policing changes in Abload enforcement practices of late, have caused you as an operator, or your end client significant disruption, costs and reduced expectations. We are particularly interested in areas where you believe the Police enforcement/implementation to be in tension with both C&U and or STGO regs.
These examples will be collated and submitted in an evidence pack to deliver prior to the next meeting. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible – contributions are open to non-members can be kept anonymous if necessary.
We also continue to discuss at parliamentary levels and urge you to write to your MP (a suggested template is attached). The more MPs we engage and gain support from, will help drive this un-consulted change in direction by Police forces (please feedback all MP responses to email@example.com).
HTA MP Letter suggested text.docx
HTA Members, Cascade Software have produced a UK Police force area embargo map.
It's free upon application - click the map thumbnail or here.
National Highways Yorkshire Northeast Regional Stakeholder Survey 2023
List of structures which are causing significant diversionary routes and which has been highlighted for Trunk Road Agencies to target for their next round of funding requests. Please provide feedback (to firstname.lastname@example.org) as to whether there are any other SRN structures that need adding to this list (NB: this list is not exhaustive and will be prone to change).
Download as a PDF
Location or Structure Ref
Bridge over Duneaton Water
Slip road south to M74
Bridge is 40T ALL + 45 Units HB, so not especially restricted, subject to usual abnormal load procedures
Bridge over A635 Barugh Green East
Agreed capacity and not on heavy load route. Planned scheme to start on site by early 2023. subject to usual abnormal load procedures
Flyover over Clive Sullivan Way Daltry Street Flyover
Restriction not agreed. Limited to 40Te ALL + 17HB, or 20HB without associated ALL. So about 85 to 90Te abnormal load limit. Not on heavy load route. There is an alternative route using the roundabout below.
Bridge over River Ouse
Restriction not agreed. Bridge has 45HB capacity
Bridge over River Dane
Concrete repairs ongoing and agreed that abnormal loads would be excluded and during the works the capacity would be 40T ALL only. However, this has been uprated to 80,000kg or 20 units HB. At the end of the repair work (Dec 2023 planned) it is anticipated restrictions will be lifted and usual abnormal load procedures will apply.
Bridge over River Thames
The load capacity of 44,000kgs is currently appropriate. This was imposed in order to safeguard the structure (following uncertainty in the condition of the structure post-tensioning systems). The structure is on the heavy load grid. Investigations and a structural assessment are underway and depending on the results, there are plans to undertake work on the bridge (but unlikely before 2025).
Bridge over River Dove
44,000kg limit confirmed (not on Heavy Load Route). The structure carries the eastbound carriageway of the A50 (Doveridge Bypass) over the River Dove, to the East of Uttoxeter. No opportunity to strengthen structure. DBFO Co are currently designing crossover points either side of the structure to enable heavy loads to traverse on the adjacent carriageway. Both carriageways will need to be closed to enable this manoeuvre.
A14 J51 Beacons Hill Flyover South and North (2 structures). The weight restriction of 52,000kg is correct. The structure is not on a heavy load route. There are no current plans to strengthen the structure.
The structure is not on a heavy load route. A weight restriction of 40,000kg has recently been put on this structure. There are longer term plans to replace the structure after 2025.
Exit from tunnel bores (A282 Essex Viaduct)
Recorded capacity - 40T ALL +30HB. The structure is on the heavy load grid. Usual abnormal load procedures will apply. Ongoing structural assessment.
Abbots Langley Viaduct (Gade Valley Viaduct)
Recorded capacity - 40T ALL +20HB however strengthening works are currently underway. The structure is on the heavy load grid. Usual abnormal load procedures will apply.
NH 4 & 5
There are no known load restrictions on these sections of road. This is a heavy load route. There may be some width restrictions imposed. Usual abnormal load procedures will apply.
Roundabout above Jct 3 (2 bridges)
Recorded capacity - 40T ALL. The structure is not on the heavy load grid. Structure has undergone extensive maintenance and strengthening. Planned refurbishment scheme 2023/24. Usual abnormal load procedures will apply.
Bridge over River Medway (4 bridges)
There are 4 bridges as detailed below, and none are on a heavy load route. The restrictions apply to all lanes in both directions:-
Medway River Bridge
Medway East Viaduct
New M2 Medway River Bridge
All above 40t with 45HB
Medway West Viaduct
40/44t with 20HB
Old Severn Bridge
Agreed 44T weight limit (HGVs restricted to lane 1) due to the main cable assessment. The structure is actively managed. Not on the heavy load route. An appropriate diversion using the Prince of Wales Bridge is available.
Jct18/19 Hambrook Viaduct E/B and W/B
The restrictions are over 70t straddle lanes 1&2; over 90t no associated live load, full restriction over 140 Tonnes. The structures are on a Heavy Load Route. There is quite an easy diversion route via the Bristol Ring Road between junctions 18 and 19, (A46, A420, A4174), and this is used quite a lot. No upgrading work planned.
44,000kg + SV100
River Usk Bridge
M4 25A-25A 38
Abnormal loads limited to SV100 (100T) with 'normal' traffic due to approach structures.
Diversion on A48 between J24 & J28.
44,000kg or SV80 alone
St Jullian's Viaduct
M4 24-25 59
Abnormal loads limited to SV80 (80T) without other traffic in the direction of traffic.
M4 over Ebbw River
M4 27-28 81
Abnormal loads limited to SV100 (100T) with 'normal' traffic.
M4 over B4290
M4 43-44 2
Any abnormal load vehicles over C&U weight (44T) to divert off an on at J43.
44,000kg + 21HB
Tawe River Bridge
Abnormal loads limited to 21HB (84T) with 'normal' traffic.
Diversion on LA route between J44 and J45
The Heavy Transport Association,The White House, High Street,Tattenhall, Chester, Cheshire CH3 9PX
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