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Police auto responses requiring attendant to be present in the cab

4 Jul 2024 16:33 | Anonymous

Members have recently reported that auto responses received from several Police Constabularies concerning abnormal load notifications requiring an attendant to be present in the cab during transporting of a qualifying abnormal load.

An example of the wording from an auto response sent by a constabulary is set out below:

“If a load exceeds total width of 3.5m, or a length of 18.65m (not including towing unit), or a rear projection of 3.05m or a front projection of 2m, then another person is required in addition to the driver within the cab of the vehicle moving the load. This must not be someone from a self-escort vehicle and an additional hand is required in the vehicle transporting the load”.

The HTA’s position is as follows:

  1. As the Police’s position with regards to stating that a self-escort cannot be the attendant, we do not agree with their interpretation.
  2. Our view, having reviewed both C&U & STGO is that it is simply someone to accompany and attend to the vehicle/load. It does not specify that they must be in the cab.
  3. See below extract of Sch 6 STGO 2003 on attendants and STGO enforcement guide for reference.



Article 12(1), 14(1), 15(4), 23(3), 24(5), 31(3) and 34(4)

1. A person (“an attendant”) must be employed—

(a) to accompany the vehicle or vehicle-combination;

(b) to attend to the vehicle or to all vehicles comprised in the combination;

(c) to attend to any load or loads carried on such vehicle or vehicles; and

(d) to give warning to the driver of the vehicle or vehicle-combination, and to any other person, of any danger likely to be caused to such other person by reason of the presence on the road of the vehicle or vehicle-combination

EXTRACT OF STGO ENFORCEMENT GUIDE - Special types enforcement guide - GOV.UK (

8. Attendants

An attendant is required where:

  • the vehicle width exceeds 3.5 metres
  • the rigid length (excluding the drawing vehicle) exceeds 18.75 metres
  • the total length exceeds 25.9 metres
  • projections exceed 2 metres (front) 3.05 metres (rear)
  • in radio contact with the vehicle concerned
  • are able to see the vehicle concerned during the journey, as far as is reasonably practical

Where an attendant is needed they can travel in the vehicle according to the STGO or Special Order movement. Alternatively they can travel in an escort vehicle, providing that they are:

Where 3 or more loads are travelling in convoy, only the first and last vehicles need an attendant.

HTA action and outcome

The HTA brought the concerns of members to the attention of the specific constabularies and the HTA’s position regarding attendants as set out above.

We have received a response confirming that constabularies will be making changes to ensure they are operating as they should be.

We suspect this may not be immediate, but we urge members to report to us should they continue to receive auto responses from police forces requiring that an attendant be present in the cab and/or that self-escorts cannot be attendants.

The Heavy Transport Association,
The White House, High Street,
Tattenhall, Chester, Cheshire CH3 9PX

t: +44 (0)1829 773 104