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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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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.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.