Weight and width restrictions are legal controls on a specified vehicle weight or width, mainly lorries, on certain roads and routes. Weight restrictions can be imposed for structural or for environmental reasons.
Used to prevent large vehicles from using inappropriate roads, routes and areas these restrictions should:
- Reduce danger to pedestrians and other road users
- Prevent damage to buildings, roads and bridges
- Preserve the character, amenity and environment of an area
- Reduce and manage congestion on the roads
Restrictions are subject to a Traffic Regulation Order ( TRO ) and the associated procedures. Regulatory signs are displayed on site to notify users and to assist the police in carrying out its enforcement.
The police have limited resources to enforce this type of restriction (especially environmental restrictions). Those restrictions with 'except for access' clauses, needed to permit HGV access to local shops, businesses, residential properties for deliveries/removals etc, quickly fall into disrepute and are notoriously difficult to enforce. For this reason, enforcement commands a low priority and, where possible, physical measures should be introduced to prevent any abuse.
Restrictions will not be used if there is no suitable alternative route for the displaced traffic. Where a TRO restricts the use of a road, route or area to certain vehicles, the signing of a recommended alternative route will need to be considered
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