On the 27 April 2018 the HTA received notification that with immediate effect there was a restriction on all abnormal loads over 40T travelling over M6 Jeffries Bridge which is located at marker post 430.3 South of junction 38. This caused a significant detour for loads travelling to and from the West of Scotland with costs borne by the industry.
The HTA first raised this issue with Highways England (HE) at the time of the restriction and repeatedly asked for updates. HEs stance was to require evidence of significant disruption to industry in order to re-assess the restriction. The disruption was finally recognised by HE when Greater Manchester Police imposed a blanket embargo on all abnormal loads in their traffic area at peak periods. The increased abnormal load traffic, sighted as the reason for the embargo, being partly attributed to the re-routing of abnormal loads to avoid Jeffries bridge.
The HTA highlighted this disruption during a telephone conference with the Abnormal Loads Team of HE on the 8 May 2019, who were then able to apply pressure to Area 13 for a removal of the restriction the following week. The HTA has thanked HE Abnormal Loads Team for their assistance in this matter.