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  • 17 May 2024 11:27 | Anonymous
    West Midlands Police has reiterated to the Abnormal Loads Group (ALG) that operators are not mandated to hire police officers to escort abnormal loads as a matter of course in their area.

    Hauliers must notify police when they’re moving abnormal loads when specific dimensions and or weight thresholds are reached but are free to ‘self-escort’ unless they feel they need to pay for officers to assist.

    This confirmation comes after hauliers had reported that the West Midlands officers had insisted that they must hire officers to escort.  The force said they’re committed to working with hauliers and will continue to support with escort where appropriate. 

    The ALG recently revealed that inconsistent police enforcement on abnormal loads across the country is costing the economy up to *£584m per year.

    If ANY police force in England or Wales has INSISTED you pay for officers to escort a load since 8 April 2024, if you did not intend to, please bring to our attention using this simple online form (also open to non-members).

    *The Costs of increased police enforcement of Abnormal Loads regulations - CEBR (Centre for Economics and Business Research).

  • 16 Apr 2024 19:26 | Anonymous

    DFDS have placed an embargo on abnormal load shipments from Dover commencing Tuesday 23rd April 2024 from 7:00am until 12:00pm 1st May 2024 - read more

  • 5 Apr 2024 08:44 | Anonymous

    West Midlands Police has clarified their position on the escorting of abnormal loads by police in their force area.

    Hauliers had reported that the force insisted firms moving abnormal loads must request and pay for officers to escort them on every occasion where the force deemed it necessary, regardless of whether they felt they needed them.

    West Midlands Police Chief Constable has confirmed that operators are not mandated to hire police officers to escort abnormal loads as a matter of course in their area, and there should always be other options available.

    Hauliers must notify police when they’re moving abnormal loads when specific dimensions and or weight thresholds are reached but are free to ‘self-escort’ unless they feel they need to pay for officers to assist.

    If ANY police force in England or Wales has INSISTED you pay for officers to escort a load since 8 April 2024, if you did not intend to, please bring to our attention using this simple online form (also open to non-members).

  • 14 Mar 2024 14:21 | Anonymous

    The HTA wholeheartedly welcomes the announcement by ESTA that the EU Parliament supports harmonisation of national rules and removal of administrative and operational bottlenecks on indivisible loads (see ESTA Press Release below).

    HTA Chairman, Marcus Gough commented "We are delighted with this news and send our congratulations to our ESTA colleagues who have worked towards this goal for several years.  Our members are crucial for the prosperity of the UK economy through their work in the renewable energy, infrastructure, oil and gas, heavy industry and power generation sectors.  The fact that the European Parliament recognises the importance of harmonising Abload moves across borders should act as a clarion wake up call to UK notifiable enforcement to act in synergy.  Abnormal load transport is an international business that regularly crosses borders."

    Gough continues, warning "Of late, UK enforcement agencies has become more, rather than less dysfunctional for Abload movements; and whilst this announcement still remains very good news, especially for our members with international operations, the UK is clearly no longer an EU member.  We therefore strongly urge UK Government to recognise the very real economic cost implications to UK Plc of not acting harmoniously with our closest trading bloc on this issue".

    The HTA was formed over 40yrs ago to represent the interests of a sector coping with unclear, inconsistent regulation and enforcement.

    ESTA (European Association for Abnormal Road Transport and Mobile Cranes) is the leading European association for the abnormal road transport and mobile crane rental industry with members in 27 countries. The HTA are ESTAs UK representatives and held the presidency of ESTA (former HTA Chairman, David Collett) for a record 9 years.

    ESTA Press Release 3 2024.pdf

  • 22 Feb 2024 12:47 | Anonymous

    The association is pleased to report clarification received from West Midlands Police regarding abnormal load description on notification submissions.  Members had reported that West Midlands Police were requiring full descriptions including particulars, description and profiles of all loads that were being notified, this was in addition to the dimensions given for the load carrying AILV.

    After engagement with West Midlands Police, we have received the following “I can confirm, that based on feedback from the HTA and its’ members, we have now changed our working practices and no longer require or ask for load detail specifics on Con & Use notifications.  Although this is helpful for us in planning, the HTA and its members are right in that, that detail is not required in law”

    However, to be clear, Schedule 5 of STGO Regs 2003 para 4 part C still do require the particulars, description and profile of any load moved under STGO (although, specifics on the make and model of the load are not required as not covered in legislation).

    We welcome this clarification and change in working practices from West Midlands Police, this will help members reduce administrative burden that the prior position had brought.

  • 19 Feb 2024 09:13 | Anonymous

    It has recently come to the attention of the HTA that several Police forces appear to have changed their position on the requirements for such loads to be escorted and are subsequently charging operators for the service.  This can be challenged.

    We should like to remind you that there is no legislation in England & Wales that covers Police escorting practice, nor for that matter self/private escorting, there is provision for an attendant to be present for the whole of the journey for any vehicle/combination or load type that fulfils the criteria under which set of regs an abnormal load move takes place, be it C&U or STGO.  Custom and practice of the in-cab attendant has migrated to an accompanying private/self-escort.  The current guidance to Police is to “encourage hauliers to use self or private escorts”.

    After an abnormal load notification is submitted (to the Police) any constabulary that indicate a Police escort is required in the interest of road safety, are then obliged to provide that service without cost to the notifying operator as a normal operational Policing duty.  There may be time to allow for the constabulary in question to arrange suitable resources, and they may elect to dictate the time, date of the move, under current guidance the time allowed is a minimum of 8 days to arrange.

    If, after conducting your own risk assessment and route survey, there is a requirement for Police escort to stop/direct traffic or to assist in what would normally be an unlawful manoeuvre on the public road (wrong siding a roundabout for example) then this would need to be requested by the notifying operator as a Special Police Service (SPS) which is chargeable.  Where a load is required to negotiate a single ‘pinch point’ on a route that would otherwise not be deemed to require an escort, police assistance may be provided without charge, subject to availability.

    The question of chargeable and non-chargeable Police services has been clarified by caselaw.

    We encourage all operators and self escorters to comply with the National Highways Agency/ACPO Code of Practice, although this a voluntary code and can only be used for evidential purposes in the event of an incident occurring, it is evidence of good practice and a standard to which the associations subscribe to.

    The Association continues dialogue both directly and as part of a wider Abloads working group (incl the HTA SAbLE project), with individual Police Officers, Police Groups/Constabularies and The National Police Chiefs Council to the betterment and safety of the industry.

    You will find links to the current Abnormal Load Police guidance document along with National highways CoP for self-escorting on our Info page.

    The Association and its committee are here to advise and support you, any questions you may have relating to this topic, can be directed in the first instance to  Please do bear in mind we are a fully voluntary committee and there may be a delay in a response to your question.

  • 25 Nov 2023 12:54 | Anonymous

    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.

  • 28 Oct 2023 11:24 | Anonymous

    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.

  • 2 Oct 2023 09:24 | Anonymous

    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”

  • 14 Aug 2023 11:14 | Anonymous

    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)

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