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  • 24 Dec 2020 12:13 | Anonymous

    Marcus Gough, said: “I am delighted, and it is a huge honour to be elected for this term and to try and provide stability in these uncertain times.

    "Both I and the committee encourage everyone to get involved, engage with the new look website, share, and feedback your ideas, and the vast array of heavy, abnormal loads moved and escorted.”

    “As Chair, I want to continue to drive the excellent work the HTA has already done in this area.  With many key projects in progress at present, engaging with stakeholders up to government departments, with a focus on improving safety and standards within our industry, more of which can be explored on this site – check out our news page” 

    First appointed on 15th December, replacing David Purslow this will be Gough’s first term, having over 35 years’ experience, in haulage and heavy cranes operations, covering all roles from driver to operator.  Marcus also currently serves on the RHA Abnormal Loads Specialist Group committee and is well placed to represent the views of the Association.  His day job is Head of Transport for Ainscough Crane Hire Ltd.

  • 16 Nov 2020 20:30 | Anonymous

    The Heavy Transport Association has initiated the first in a new programme of projects that will look at various aspects of the movement of abnormal indivisible loads, analysing good practice from the UK and elsewhere in the world to ensure that movement of these loads is performed as safely and efficiently as possible.

    The first project in the programme is SAbLESafer Abnormal Load Escorting, the aim of which is “To improve the safety and operational efficiency of Abnormal Load movements through appropriate escorting practices.”

    The SABLE project aims to bring together a full range of stakeholders including: abnormal load hauliers, route surveyors, permit agents, consultants, abnormal load escorts, infrastructure owners /managers, equipment manufacturers and the police.

    The project, led by international road safety consultancy The Transafe Network*, will examine current practices in the risk assessment and escorting of abnormal loads, and identify future practices which have the potential to enhance the safety and efficiency of these movements.  This will include practices to improve safety for all road users, and the most efficient use of the road network.

    For more information on SABLE, to receive updates on the project, or to express an interest in being part of the SABLE Working Party, please email:

    Notes for Editors: *The Transafe Network is a specialist road safety consultancy with experience of working in more than 40 countries on six continents. They supply a wide range of road risk management services to organisations as diverse as blue-chip corporations with fleet operations, research foundations, the legal profession, police forces and local authorities.

    For more information please visit:

  • 27 Jan 2020 09:09 | Anonymous

    The Heavy Transport Association (HTA), the only specialist trade association for the heavy and abnormal load industry, officially launch two City & Guilds Assured Abnormal Load Escort Training Programmes.

    Developed and improved from their previous Escort Training courses, the Abnormal Load Escort Driver Stage 2 and the Abnormal Load Escort Manager Stage 3 Programmes, champion safety standards for the benefit of the industry and HTA members.

    Available across selected HTA Approved regional training centres, both training Programmes are tailored to Escort and Pilot Car drivers across the heavy transport and mobile crane sector to prove competency, reduce risk, improve public safety and promote industry excellence.

    These Programmes are designed to test and satisfy the requirements of Operational staff, to be competent and safe in their role.  This is achieved via theory based classroom learning, followed by observation of practical activities leading to a final assessment resulting in a City & Guilds credential issued upon successful completion.

    Split across two Programmes, candidates are expected to undertake the Stage 2 Driver Programme before progressing to the higher Stage 3 Managers Programme.

    Those undertaking the Stage 2 Driver Training Programme on completion will:-

    • Learn Escort Driver legislative vehicle requirements whilst obtaining knowledge of the current Code of Practice and industry best practices.
    • Be able to prepare escort vehicle(s) before use and brief all task personnel before departure.
    • Check the condition of transport vehicle(s) and load(s) before departure, whilst understanding the appropriate load and vehicle positioning whilst on the road.
    • Understand how to effectively communicate with third parties and how to appropriately respond to emergencies, incidents and unexpected situations.
    • Possess the knowledge of post-operative procedure checks and movement report completion.

    On successful completion of the HTA Abnormal Loads Escort Driver Stage 2 Programme, individuals may progress to the higher Stage 3 module. Following the same learning format, the HTA Abnormal Load Escort Manager Training Programme will not only encompass topics covered in Stage 2, but will provide individuals with a deeper understanding of these disciplines.

    In addition to this understanding, individuals progressing onto the Stage 3 Managers Programme will:-

    • Possess the ability to plan the details of the movement, understanding the relevance of all related movement documentation and understand the roles and responsibilities of all involved.
    • Acquire the knowledge to brief all personnel involved in the movement, and ensure all vehicles have been appropriately prepared and checked.
    • Understand how to actively manage vehicles and traffic during the load movement.
    • Manage the closure of the abnormal load movement on completion.
    • Understand the requirements of multiple escorts or convoys of loads

    With the implementation of these two improved Training Programmes throughout the regional network of HTA Approved Training Centres, the Heavy Transport Association aims to greatly increase safety standards across the industry, reducing risks and improving the competency of Operators and Drivers alike.  The addition of the Assured recognition guarantees these Training Programmes are benchmarked against the City & Guilds quality standards, providing the confidence and reassurance of highly accredited professional development.

  • 27 Feb 2019 12:49 | Anonymous

    The HTA received an email on the 27 February 2019 which gave notification of a blanket movement embargo imposed by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) on all abnormal loads during peak periods.  The embargo is for all categories of abnormal loads yet mobile cranes up to and including 5 axle which could weigh 60 ton gross ‘dry’ weight and with ballast likely to weigh 80 tons are excluded.  STGO CAT1s are embargoed even though they weigh significantly less than mobile cranes.

    Also, on a motorway the lane limit is 3m so a CAT 1 is not taking up any additional space.  The HTA sent a letter to GMP on the 2 May explaining that CAT 1 AILs are being stopped for no apparent reason and asked for a revision of the blanket ban.  We received acknowledgement of the letter by way of return on the 14 May and now await a full response.

  • 1 Dec 2018 10:33 | Anonymous

    A response to our letter of the 22 September was received on the 21 December 2018.  As cautioned by the HTA, the DfT recognised that the appointing of a Transport Specialist to assess ad hoc and unpredictable moves was not required. However, the letter then went on to say that the current practice of applying the Reasonableness Test to both inland waterways and coastal shipping would continue.

    In response the HTA sent a further letter to the DfT on the 25 February 2019. We pointed out that it is not current practice to apply the ‘Reasonableness Test’ to both inland waterways and coastal shipping and this application is in fact a change of policy to include coastal shipping.

    The HTA explained that there is a long standing policy for ad hoc and unpredictable AIL moves using costal shipping to use the nearest convenient established port.  Cases can and are made as to the nearest convenient port which take many factors into account.  To name but a few; it could be that, a particular port offers a scheduled deep sea service or, there may be existing heavy lift crane or, mileage to the destination could be greater yet the route provides less impact on the SRN.  The HTA cautioned against such a change in policy as significant disruption to the industry is a likely result.

    We await a response from the DfT.

  • 2 Oct 2018 10:09 | Anonymous

    Recent Months have seen more and more Police Forces cutting back the responsibilities of their Abnormal Load Officers and insisting that all notifications are submitted by ESDLA.  Merseyside Police have now been joined by Greater Manchester, Dorset and Devon and Cornwall in this requirement. The HTA has remained resolute in our stance that this insistence in not in accordance with the STGO legislation but has been working with Highway’s England (HE) to improve ESDAL where possible for the benefit of our members and the industry.

    Through HTA petitioning HE have released a form to enable the inputting of a notification and e-mailing to ESDAL rather then using the web based procedure and third party software is now able to interface with the system providing an alternative option for those who use other software providers for notifications.  Some members have reported other concerns with the system which have been highlighted to HE for resolution.

  • 4 Sep 2018 10:10 | Anonymous

    On the 4th of September 2018 the HTA received a letter from Duncan Price, Head of Freight, Operator Licencing and Roadworthiness for the Department for Transport (DfT).  The letter’s stated purpose was to inform the industry that the DfT has been considering how the policy works in practice.  There are two areas for consideration.  Firstly, whether the indicative thresholds for financial reasonableness for inland water, when applied to ad hoc unpredictable moves, should be applied to costal as well as inland waters.  This essentially would mean all hauliers would be compelled to use a costal port that is considered by an authority to meet the financial reasonableness bar.  Secondly, whether the appointment of a ‘Transport Specialist’ would be beneficial to the decision making process for such moves.  The appointment of the Transport Specialist would entail an hourly rate and could range from £500 for simple cases and up to £10,000.

    The HTA responded to this letter on the 22 September and questioned how such a policy could be implemented without an industry impact assessment, why Highway England are effectively out-sourcing their decision making procedure, why is a Transport Specialist required for ‘simple cases’ and what are the specialist’s terms of reference?

    We await the response from the DfT by return.

  • 1 Jun 2018 10:12 | Anonymous

    The HTA has been made aware that Stop and Direct powers will be devolved by Avon & Somerset Constabulary (ASC) using Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) powers to the Traffic Management Company (Somerset Infrastructure Alliance (SIA)) who are used by EDF Energy to manage their abnormal loads.  The companies who form SIA are Skanska and Forest Traffic Management Ltd.

    Being the first time CSAS powers have been devolved for Stop and Direct for Heavy Haulage, the HTA was curious to discover how the application process was undertaken and wrote a letter to the Police Crime Commissioner for ASC pointing out the industry code of practice requirements for escorters to be ‘sufficiently competent to undertake the task of escorting abnormal loads. Competent means that they are suitably trained and/or experienced for the role.’

    In response the PCC replied stating that it was a temporary solution to a local problem which was unlikely to be renewed once the build was over. Also, that SIA are ‘highly experienced in moving abnormal loads’ and that the ‘Police CPI have suggested that accreditation for abnormal load escorting may be available nationally’.  The HTA will continue to monitor the developments in this area with a keen interest.

  • 27 Apr 2018 12:47 | Anonymous

    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.

  • 1 Feb 2018 10:28 | Anonymous

    The response to the Home Office letter sent on 24 January 2018 was received on the 29 March 2018 from Rt Hon Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service.  It was stated in the letter that the ‘enforcement of road traffic law is an operational matter for the local Chief Officer of Police’.  The response then went on to put the decision as to how notifications are received within the authority of the Chief Officer and then stated that this is the Government’s position.

    The HTA is disappointed in what could be described as the Home Office side-stepping its overarching responsibility in this area and remains resolute of the opinion that the legislation requires an agreement by both sides.

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

t: +44 (0)1829 773 104