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Wide Loads

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what guidelines his Department has issued to (a) police constabularies and (b) the Highways Agency regarding the movement of wide loads on roads; (86124)

(2) if he will introduce guidelines to police constabularies and the Highways Agency that wide loads should not be moved during peak times on motorways and major trunk roads.

The Department has not issued any specific guidelines.

We have published a code of practice on the self-escorting of abnormal loads, prepared jointly by the Department, the Highways Agency, the police and haulage associations. It encourages scheduling movements at off-peak times when there is less traffic.

The Highways Agency and the police would normally restrict the movement of wide loads that have a significant impact on other road users to times which cause minimum disruption. However, disruption to other road users is not the only consideration. Other factors, such as safety, security and environmental issues (such as noise and disturbance in residential areas) can influence the timetabling of movements.

As there is already a general acceptance that loads should be moved at off-peak times I do not feel that there is a need to issue any specific guidelines. However, this remains under review.