The HTA has, and will always, support the safe, legal and responsible transportation of abnormal loads on our roads, as well as the enforcement by authorities against those who seek to profit or gain percieved advantage through non-compliance.
The HTA was formed in 1983 by a group of heavy haulage operators struggling to cope with less than clear regulations regarding the movement of abnormal loads. It seemed apparent that enforcement authorities/police officers were not happy to have abnormal loads on UK roads. 40yrs later, the association is aware of recent, continuous, multi-agency legislative enforcement across the UK, to unprecedented levels, causing operators and end clients delays and unexpected costs.
You do not need to be alone. The HTA welcomes new membership applications from professional operators. If you are not already a member, consider joining us to help support compliance and fairness, whilst promoting best practice and adopting codes of practice to reduce risk.
The HTA has always welcomed Police Abnormal Load Officers as affiliate members – this has always been, and continues to be, free of charge. We continue to work with enforcement authorities and stakeholders to encourage mutual understanding and seek consensus.
The HTA have been made aware by a member of changes in embargo times for abnormal loads by The Metropolitan Police without consultation or prior warning:-
Extract from MET Police announcement--------------------------------------------------------------------
NO MOVEMENT of Police notifiable abnormal loads are permitted within the Metropolitan Police area between the following times:
Additional time restrictions - if any part of the route falls within 3 miles of Charing Cross Station, or ANY abnormal load exceeds:
It will not be permitted to travel between the following times:
It is the haulier's responsibility to ensure that they travel within the appropriate times.
The Metropolitan Police are responsible for sections of the M25 where we advise Hauliers to avoid travelling during peak/rush hours:
The HTA and Road Haulage Association have made joint representations for a withdrawal of the changes and an explanation, as well as a call for consultation on such matters that are otherwise decided upon without any consideration or representation.
The MET Police previously introduced unilateral changes without notice or consultation in 2014 and the HTA were successful in getting the changes withdrawn through representation at police and government level. The HTA notes that the most recent changes appear to be identical to those withdrawn in 2014.
After attending an Industry Liaison Meeting, the association wishes to bring the following areas of Abloads movement compliance to your attention.
West Midlands & Staffordshire Police who are responsible for policing the M5, M5, M6 Toll, M54, Aston Expressway, M42 and A500 are actively targeting abnormal load movements through an ongoing 'Operation Nightstare' to ensure loads are being transported legally, safely, and compliantly.
The HTA have been advised that, to date, 106 movements have been stopped with only 3 being satisfactory compliant.
You must ensure that the details recorded on the movement order are correct & you give 2 days or 5 days’ notice (whichever is required) or if Special Order and VR1 the movement must not commence until the allotted date/time, with permits issued. Failure to provide accurate information could result in having your vehicle/s impounded.
In addition, the following must be in order:
Failure to meet all requirements may result in enforcement action which will have a detrimental effect on your & your customer businesses. Furthermore, all offences may be notified to the Traffic Commissioner.
The Heavy Transport Association welcomes the news that a UK Police Force is using the powers granted to them under the Police Reform Act (2002) to give conferred powers to Stop and Direct Traffic to private abnormal load escorters. The step, by Avon and Somerset police in relation to abnormal load movements to Hinkley Point, will be the first time this has been done in the UK, in spite of the fact that the practice has been pretty standard across mainland Europe and elsewhere in the world for many years.
The HTA has lobbied for use of this existing 2002 legislation for several years and intends to work closely with Avon and Somerset Police and EDF to monitor the application of the powers, and learn any wider lessons in the application of this legislation as part of our ongoing Safer Abnormal Load Escorting project (SAbLE).
The powers of a constable to Stop and Direct Traffic for the Escorting of Abnormal Loads can only be given by Chief Constables under the Police Reform Act (2002) and is administered via the Community Safety & Accreditation (CSAS) scheme. Employers have to be vetted and approved under the scheme as well as similar rigorous vetting as well as training/competence standards for those employed as 'accredited persons'. Operators wishing to know more can visit the HTA website, email@example.com or get involved/support this initiative by becoming a member (annual membership starts from just £267 and applications can now be made online).
For details of the City and Guilds Stage 2 (Escort Driver) and Stage 3 (Escort Manager) qualifications developed by HTA and endorsed by industry contact a HTA Training Centre.
The UK Government is seeking views on the requirement for UK goods vehicle operators to post declarations to carry out goods journeys within the EU, as well as the consolidation of regulations for foreign goods vehicles operating in the UK.
Click here for UK Gov link to consultation.
HTA Members are invited to also feed back views on consultation via HTA to ESTA (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) supports the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Transport Safety. Its vision is “A transport system free from death and life-changing injury, in which all users feel safe.”.
The aim of PACTS is to advise and inform members of the House of Commons and of the House of Lords on air, rail and road safety issues. It brings together safety professionals and legislators to identify research-based solutions to transport safety problems having regard to cost, effectiveness, achievability and acceptability.
HTA Chairman, Marcus Gough said "The HTA is the only dedicated UK Trade Association for the heavy/abnormal load industry. It is worth noting that every single UK infrastructure project will require the specialist skills of our members. HTA members are consequently a highly specialist group of operators with very different needs over other sectors of the transportation industry.
I welcome PACTS decision to accept the Heavy Transport Association (HTA) as members and we look forward to working with PACTS to influence strategic decision making that affects our sector and benefits our members and UK Plc”.
The HTA have received the following communication from CMPG (Central Motorway Police Group)
"Thank you for circulating to your members and contacts, we have received a number of enquires since which have all been positive in their nature and have shown a willingness to support us with our request for which we are very grateful.
I thought I’d share with you a copy of an eMail I have been sending in reply to those enquiries which you may find useful to share too, particularly as avoidance of those areas would likely be of benefit to drivers and companies in terms of congestion and journey times.
"Firstly, thank you for taking the time to read the letter from Superintendent Mason and thinking about alternative routes during the Commonwealth Games, it’s very much appreciated.
I have pasted in a link below which is an interactive map of the routes that will be used during the games and these are the roads that we are asking abnormal load hauliers to avoid during the period. You may also actually find it beneficial yourselves to avoid these routes as we expect them to be even more congested than they are normally and this may have a negative impact on your journey times.
Rather than me advise alternative routes for your company, I’m hoping that by providing you with this specific information, it will assist you with your alternative planning.
Interactive Google Map
If you need anything further, please come back to me.
T/Inspector 3182 Dean Caswell
Motorway Operations Inspector
Central Motorway Police Group | West Midlands Police
CMPG (Central Motorway Police Group) have requested abnormal load hauliers, escort companies and associates, not to move abnormal loads around the West Midlands road network during the period of the Commonwealth Games (which runs from Monday 25th July to Wednesday 10th August) in order to keep the infrastructure moving freely at all times and remove any risks of long and damaging delays should a breakdown or shed load occur or the disruption caused when moving a wide and/or slow abnormal load.
CMPG do not intend, at this time, to formally apply for additional restrictions on the movement of abnormal loads throughout the West Midlands area.
The RHA and HTA advice to members is that where possible to avoid abnormal load movements within the West Midlands area during the Commonwealth Games. Where this is unavoidable it is important to ensure all movements are notified accurately and that all regulatory requirements are met to avoid any enforcement action.
Additionally; National Highways have notified that during the Commonwealth Games the Abloads bay on the M5 at Junction-2 will be occupied by the Games Duty manager to house 2 recovery vehicles, and therefore will not be available to operators to use for the lay-up of ab-loads during the period 19th July until the 10th of August.
Following engagement with CMPG (Central Motorway Police Group), the HTA have been advised of the following top offences when Abloads are stopped at the roadside on their patch:-
Of course, falling foul of these identified issues could render you liable for prosecution under C&U Regulations, and or parked up for a prescribed period. We would always recommend adhering to all STGO schedules for the safe and suitable movements of Abloads. Make the short notice phone calls and more importantly gain the permission to move from the authorities concerned.
The association is here to support its members with any areas on compliance in STGO or wide C&U moves that you may require.
HGV drivers will benefit from £20 million to improve roadside facilities, as part of continued Government action with industry to boost driver welfare and tackle the effects of the global driver shortage in the UK.
The funding is part of National Highways’ existing £169m Users and Communities Fund, and will go specifically towards improving security, showers and eating facilities as well as exploring increasing parking spaces for lorry drivers. Roadside service operators are being encouraged to apply for the multi-million-pound fund immediately.
It means the Government has now taken 33 actions to support the sector and address a shortage of HGV drivers affecting countries around the world.
The funding takes the total Government investment in driver facilities to £52.5 million since last year. £32.5 million was previously committed in the Chancellor’s budget to provide better facilities right across the country for HGV drivers, to drive up standards and further safeguard driver comfort and safety.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said:
“HGV drivers play a key role in keeping our nation running and contributing to the economy, and it is vital they feel safe and comfortable wherever they stop. That’s why we’re allocating a further £20 million to ramp up security and improve amenities for drivers – building on the raft of measures we’ve already taken to support the industry. We’ll continue to work closely with the sector to boost professional driver numbers even further.”
Nick Harris, National Highways Chief Executive, said:-
“We want all road users to reach their destination safely and encourage everyone, from those who drive as a profession through to people traveling on holiday or for leisure purposes, to plan ahead before setting off and to take regular breaks. We are dedicated to improving the experience of everyone using our roads and remain committed to working closely with operators of roadside facilities to help improve the standard of parking and other amenities they provide on motorways and major A-roads. We are hopeful that the £20 million being announced today will go some way towards achieving this goal.”
The HTA are currently pushing for this funding to also pay for protected abnormal loads signage.
The Heavy Transport Association,The White House, High Street,Tattenhall, Chester, Cheshire CH3 9PX
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