Abnormal loads

Hauliers wishing to move an abnormal load must notify the Police, Highway Authority and other bridge owners such as National Highways 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 clear working days' notice.
  • For 80 to 150 tonnes, you must give five clear 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?

Hauliers can notify Surrey County Council via the third party abnormal load electronic delivery system available to hauliers. Alternatively, hauliers can send a notification form by email to abnormal.loads@surreycc.gov.uk, or by fax to 020 8541 7377.

Hauliers must include a standard form of indemnity with their notification for any damage that might be caused to infrastructure as a result of the move. Surrey Police must also be notified where appropriate.

Please contact us if you require a copy of the above mentioned forms.

There is no charge for processing the notifications or indemnities. However, charges may be made for other services including:

  • If calculations are required to determine if the bridge (or other structure) is suitable to carry the abnormal load (Special Orders only)
  • If any street furniture such as bollards, signs or lighting needs to be removed (and replaced) in order for the movement to take place

The haulier is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the route is suitable for the intended abnormal load.

Files available to download

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