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Abnormal loads

Hauliers wishing to move an abnormal load must notify the Police, Highway Authority and other bridge owners such as the Highways Agency and Network Rail (if their bridges are being crossed) of the routes that they intend to travel in advance.

What is an abnormal load?

An abnormal load can generally be described as a vehicle:

  • carrying more than 44 tonnes;
  • with an axle load of more than 11.5 tonnes;
  • more than three metres wide;
  • more than 18.75 metres long.

The regulations regarding the movement of abnormal loads is contained in the Government Statutory Instrument 2003 No. 1998 - The Road Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types) (General) Order 2003.

How much notice do you need to give?

  • For 40 to 80 tonnes, you must give two working days' notice.
  • For 80 to 150 tonnes, you must give five working days' notice.
  • For loads over 150 tonnes, a 'special order movement' is needed and they require permission from the Secretary of State. This is administered through the Department for Transport and the Highways Agency.

How do you notify us?

You can notify Surrey County Council of an abnormal load movement by sending the required details by email to abnormal.loads@surreycc.gov.uk, or by fax to 020 8541 7377.

You must also include a standard form of indemnity for any damage that might be caused to infrastructure as a result of the move. In order to ease the process of abnormal load movements for both hauliers and ourselves, we recommend hauliers to take out an annual block indemnity rather than sending an individual indemnity with each notification. 

The haulier is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the route is suitable for the intended abnormal load and will be charged for the removal and reinstatement of any street furniture

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