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  • 22 Feb 2024 12:47 | Anonymous

    The association is pleased to report clarification received from West Midlands Police regarding abnormal load description on notification submissions.  Members had reported that West Midlands Police were requiring full descriptions including particulars, description and profiles of all loads that were being notified, this was in addition to the dimensions given for the load carrying AILV.

    After engagement with West Midlands Police, we have received the following “I can confirm, that based on feedback from the HTA and its’ members, we have now changed our working practices and no longer require or ask for load detail specifics on Con & Use notifications.  Although this is helpful for us in planning, the HTA and its members are right in that, that detail is not required in law”

    However, to be clear, Schedule 5 of STGO Regs 2003 para 4 part C still do require the particulars, description and profile of any load moved under STGO (although, specifics on the make and model of the load are not required as not covered in legislation).

    We welcome this clarification and change in working practices from West Midlands Police, this will help members reduce administrative burden that the prior position had brought.

  • 19 Feb 2024 09:13 | Anonymous

    It has recently come to the attention of the HTA that several Police forces appear to have changed their position on the requirements for such loads to be escorted and are subsequently charging operators for the service.  This can be challenged.

    We should like to remind you that there is no legislation in England & Wales that covers Police escorting practice, nor for that matter self/private escorting, there is provision for an attendant to be present for the whole of the journey for any vehicle/combination or load type that fulfils the criteria under which set of regs an abnormal load move takes place, be it C&U or STGO.  Custom and practice of the in-cab attendant has migrated to an accompanying private/self-escort.  The current guidance to Police is to “encourage hauliers to use self or private escorts”.

    After an abnormal load notification is submitted (to the Police) any constabulary that indicate a Police escort is required in the interest of road safety, are then obliged to provide that service without cost to the notifying operator as a normal operational Policing duty.  There may be time to allow for the constabulary in question to arrange suitable resources, and they may elect to dictate the time, date of the move, under current guidance the time allowed is a minimum of 8 days to arrange.

    If, after conducting your own risk assessment and route survey, there is a requirement for Police escort to stop/direct traffic or to assist in what would normally be an unlawful manoeuvre on the public road (wrong siding a roundabout for example) then this would need to be requested by the notifying operator as a Special Police Service (SPS) which is chargeable.  Where a load is required to negotiate a single ‘pinch point’ on a route that would otherwise not be deemed to require an escort, police assistance may be provided without charge, subject to availability.

    The question of chargeable and non-chargeable Police services has been clarified by caselaw.

    We encourage all operators and self escorters to comply with the National Highways Agency/ACPO Code of Practice, although this a voluntary code and can only be used for evidential purposes in the event of an incident occurring, it is evidence of good practice and a standard to which the associations subscribe to.

    The Association continues dialogue both directly and as part of a wider Abloads working group (incl the HTA SAbLE project), with individual Police Officers, Police Groups/Constabularies and The National Police Chiefs Council to the betterment and safety of the industry.

    You will find links to the current Abnormal Load Police guidance document along with National highways CoP for self-escorting on our Info page.

    The Association and its committee are here to advise and support you, any questions you may have relating to this topic, can be directed in the first instance to  Please do bear in mind we are a fully voluntary committee and there may be a delay in a response to your question.

  • 25 Nov 2023 12:54 | Anonymous

    After liaising with Transport for London regarding the Direct Vision Standard 2024 changes (expressing the difficulties members are facing as a result of the upcoming changes) TfL has confirmed to the association that there is a grace period that runs from 28th Oct 2024 to midnight on 31st Jan 2025 for 1 & 2* rated vehicles.  Details on how to apply will become available next year, but essentially, we understand that if an operator can prove they have booked a vehicle to have equipment fitted with a fitter, that is sufficient to be granted the use of the grace period.

    The HTA is working with TfL on exemptions for STGO vehicles and we anticipate a further announcement will be made in due course.

  • 28 Oct 2023 11:24 | Anonymous

    Following on from a recent announcement that Merseyside Police had changed their Abload notification requirements from 1 VRN to 5, it was disappointing to see neighbouring forces changed theirs to 1!  Following further communication and collaboration between the Abloads working group and NPCC, the HTA is pleased to announce that Merseyside, Cheshire, Staffordshire and West Midlands police force areas will now accept up to 5 VRNs per notification.

    The region is also seeking to align embargo times on their roads to ease administrative and planning burdens placed on members with recent changes to Police enforcement of Abloads.

    The HTA welcomes this common sense approach of regional consistency and will continue to work with stakeholders to improve the situation throughout other UK regions.

  • 2 Oct 2023 09:24 | Anonymous

    Following on from constructive engagement with NPCC the HTA is pleased to announce that, as from 01 October 2023, Merseyside Police will accept up to 5 vehicle registrations per movement notification.  Up until now, Merseyside had limited this to just one which meant that should a haulier needed to substitute a vehicle (breakdown, delays/operational issues etc) a completely new notification was required, resulting in delays and additional costs.

    The HTA Chairman Marcus Gough commented “I welcome this announcement by Merseyside Police through the NPCC and believe HTA members and the wider sector will do likewise. It means that operators now have the flexibility to react to operational circumstances to ensure that goods are delivered within planned timescales.  The HTA has worked tirelessly with NPCC conveying members concerns of inconsistent Policing of Abloads throughout the UK, so its fantastic to see some tangible progress through engagement and collaboration with changemakers.  The HTA continues this dialogue and look forward to further announcements soon to the benefit of the membership”

  • 14 Aug 2023 11:14 | Anonymous

    The RHA, together with the Heavy Transport Association, the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, and National Caravan Council has repeated calls on the police to make the regulations on moving large or heavy cargo around the country consistent and fair.

    We continue to receive reports from members claiming that some officers are enforcing blanket movement embargoes on abnormal loads which they say are increasing both red tape and cost.

    The RHA, together with the Heavy Transport Association, the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, and National Caravan Council have called on a number of chief constables to confirm if their forces are following College of Policing guidelines on Special Types General Orders (STGO).

    If you are an operator responsible for the notification and/or movement of heavy loads, you can have your say by completing our Restrictions/Enforcement of UK Abnormal Loads Online Survey.

    Survey is now closed (midnight 27 August 2023)

  • 22 May 2023 13:37 | Anonymous

    Following a disappointing increase in recent incidents of damage to bridges, Transport Scotland have requested the assistance of the HTA in promoting good practice.

    Striking a bridge with your vehicle has SERIOUS consequences!

    At best, damage to your vehicle and loss of earnings - at worst, cause INJURY or DEATH.



    • Your vehicle height; width; and weight
    • Remember to include trailers and loaded materials
    • If your vehicle is higher than 5m/16’6" plan your route with great care


    • Plan your route to avoid low bridges in Scotland - 0800 028 1414
    • Do not rely upon SAT NAV – it may not hold accurate bridge height information

    DO IT!

    Always display the height of your vehicle in the cab as a reminder; this is the law if your vehicle is higher than 3m/10 feet.

    Always obey the height signs on bridges

    Don’t risk wasting a life, your job, your vehicle or getting a jail sentence. 

    If in doubt – CHECK IT OUT!

  • 3 May 2023 09:38 | Anonymous

    West Midlands Police have requested a reminder to the sector that the M42 is due to be closed between J5 & J6 northbound over the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend (including the Monday 8 May Coronation day holiday) and that there is an embargo on all AIL moves on Bank Holidays.  Diversions will be in place but any AIL movement on a Bank Holiday or travelling off-route risks enforcement action.

  • 3 May 2023 08:52 | Anonymous

    The Heavy Transport Association continues dialogue with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) as part of a wider working group in collaboration with industry associations.

    We need your direct support for the next stage of meetings due later this month.  Specifically, we are seeking evidence where Policing changes in Abload enforcement practices of late, have caused you as an operator, or your end client significant disruption, costs and reduced expectations.  We are particularly interested in areas where you believe the Police enforcement/implementation to be in tension with both C&U and or STGO regs.

    These examples will be collated and submitted in an evidence pack to deliver prior to the next meeting.  Please send to as soon as possible – contributions are open to non-members can be kept anonymous if necessary.

    We also continue to discuss at parliamentary levels and urge you to write to your MP (a suggested template is attached).  The more MPs we engage and gain support from, will help drive this un-consulted change in direction by Police forces (please feedback all MP responses to

    HTA MP Letter suggested text.docx

  • 17 Apr 2023 16:24 | Anonymous

    HTA Members, Cascade Software have produced a UK Police force area embargo map. 

    It's free upon application - click the map thumbnail or here.

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