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A weight limit allows us to prohibit and restrict the movement of heavy goods vehicles

Weight limitsAbnormal loadsThe Road Traffic Act

Other information

Weight limits


If you want to apply for a permanent weight restriction, you must contact your parish or town council. We cannot consider community requests for new, or amendments to existing signing, lining, speed limits or HGV restrictions. Instead, any future works programme will be based on evidence gathered from the collision and traffic data with priority being given to road safety and congestion issues.

Any requests must have the support of the parish council and your Councillor, so please discuss any concerns with them in the first instance.

A weight limit allows us as the Highway Authority to prohibit and restrict the movement of heavy goods vehicles. This requires us to make a Traffic Regulation Order which gives the police the power to enforce a weight restriction.

The introduction of a weight restriction on a public road will be considered either for environmental protection (for example, a narrow village road) or where there is a need to protect a structure (for example, a bridge or culvert) from the effects of heavy goods vehicles. Where a weight restriction is considered necessary, consideration must be given to a suitable alternative route and the likely effect on other communities.

Abnormal loads

You can apply for a weight limit exemption permit here. Please only complete this form if you wish to apply for an exemption permit.

Apply for a weight limit exemption permit

This form has 2 pages and will take approximately 1 to 2 minutes to complete.

Please note that permits are transferable between vehicles.

Permits cannot be renewed or extended. A new application needs to be completed.

Notify us about an abnormal load movement. Please include the ‘from’ and ‘to’ addresses, the length, height and width, the axle weights and axle spacing, the route and the nature of the load. We will check any proposed route to make sure it is suitable for abnormal loads. You should also contact the police for approval, and to provide an escort where necessary.

Please email us using the details below. There is a national project to assist hauliers of abnormal loads. ESDAL

We receive notifications of large freight movements. These are processed to ensure highway integrity is not substantially diminished and to avoid risk or conflict with highway features and other vehicles.

A vehicle will be classed as an abnormal load where typically one or more of the following vehicle dimensions are exceeded:

  • Axle weight greater than 11.5 tonnes
  • 44 tonnes weight
  • 3.65m (12ft) wide
  • 21.33m (70ft) long
  • 4.57m (15ft) high

Our responsibility for highway maintenance is limited to the traffic normally permitted on the road. The haulier responsible for moving the abnormal load must carry the responsibility for any problem that might be caused because of the ‘abnormal load movement.’ For this reason, hauliers are required to notify us, in advance, of any abnormal load movement and to indemnify us against any problem that might occur as a result.

The legislation stipulates the days of notice required:

  • 2 clear days for 44 tonnes up to 80 tonnes
  • 5 clear days for 80 tonnes to 150 tonnes
  • 150 tonnes+ require a special order as specified in the Special Type (General Order) 2003

We will reject a movement notification if we are not given enough notice. Indemnities may be provided annually or per movement (signed) as specified in the Special Type (General Order) 2003.

An abnormal load would normally be moved by a specialist haulier. General freight is not covered by the definition of Abnormal Indivisible load.

The Road Traffic Act

The Road Traffic Act 1984 and its amendments give powers to us to impose Traffic Regulation Orders. Such orders are subject to legal procedures which are specified in the Local Authorities Traffic Orders (procedure) Regulations 1996 and all restrictions must be signed in accordance with the Traffic Regulations and General Directions 2002. Please see Information and Resources for these documents.

There is an exemption scheme for Bruton and Langport. Traffic Regulation Orders are in place for both areas. They also provide for the issue of exemption permits which allow a vehicle over 7.5 tonnes to pass through the restricted length of road. This arrangement is intended to ensure that local businesses are not adversely affected and avoids a long detour around the restricted length of road.

Last reviewed: November 16, 2023 by Neil

Next review due: May 16, 2024

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