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Roads: Abnormal Loads

Volume 688: debated on Wednesday 17 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

To what extent abnormal loads on motorways are restricted to night-time travel only; and what night-time movement of abnormal loads on motorways has taken place during 2005 and 2006; and [HL1182]

What proportion of abnormal loads on motorways are escorted by the police; and, of these, what proportion took place in (a) daylight, and (b) at night. [HL1183]

Information about the proportion of abnormal loads on motorways that are escorted by the police is not available.

The number of abnormal loads escorted by the police has reduced significantly since the introduction of self-escorting in 2004, following recommendations by the Policing Bureaucracy Taskforce. The police continue to provide escorting services for a relatively small number of the largest and heaviest abnormal loads in circumstances when traffic control is required.

Information relating to the number of night-time abnormal load moves that have taken place in 2005 and 2006 is not available.

The Highways Agency grants permission for the largest and heaviest loads to move after consultation with the police, highway authorities and other appropriate bodies. In these cases, consideration is given to the movement of abnormal loads at night provided it is safe to do so and where possible to minimise congestion. Network conditions and planned roadworks are considered alongside other relevant factors.