Q670: Who do I need to notify if I want to move an abnormal load and can you tell me about escorting abnormal loads?
You must notify each Chief Officer of Police and Highways and Bridges Authority, through which the load is intending to travel.
The details of the load, vehicle and intended route can be faxed, emailed or posted to the relevant authorities. A website has been developed by the Highways Agency for plotting and notification of all abnormal loads. A link to the ESDAL (Electronic Service Delivery for Abnormal Loads) website is provided on the right hand side of this page.
The Police no longer routinely escort abnormal loads. However, it is best to check with individual Police forces as to their requirements, as this may differ from force to force. This should be agreed at the time of notification.
With the exception of the very largest loads, haulers are permitted to provide their own escort vehicles. Generally, some form of escort will be required, (taking account of the width, speed and weight of the load), particularly on motorways and on dual carriageways.
Private escorts do not have any powers to control traffic. An escort is provided for the purpose of giving warning to the driver of that vehicle or combination, and to any other person, of any danger likely to be caused by the presence on the road of that vehicle, combination or load.
The escort and vehicle must comply with the NPCC / Highways Agency code of practice which can be found on the Highways Agency website, see related information.