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Abnormal Loads

Abnormal loads

Abnormal loads are usually lorries carrying a heavy load or an extra long or wide load. Haulage firms who want to transport an abnormal load through Essex (not including Southend and Thurrock) must inform Essex County Council, as the Highway Authority, of the intended route. Hauliers that need this service must contact Essex Highways who act on behalf of Essex County Council.

Structures Team
Essex Highways
101-105 Victoria House



Weight restrictions - bridges

The current permitted load of a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) allowed on the road is 44 tonnes either on 5 or 6 axles. Bridges that fail this load assessment could have either a temporary weight restriction in place until the bridge has been strengthened or permanent signs if alternative routes for HGVs can be found. These are called Structural Weight Limits. Enquires about Environmental Weight restrictions, imposed for the purpose of the surrounding area or nature conservation must go to the Network Management for any enquiries.


Height restricted bridges

The current permitted clearance of a road bridge is 5.03m. Bridges with a clearance lower than this have appropriate signage, warning drivers that it is a low bridge. Most commonly, low clearance bridges carry the railway. These are owned and maintained by Network Rail. If a Network Rail low clearance bridge is struck you MUST contact Network Rail immediately. Further information about Network Rail bridge strikes can be found on the Network Rail website.