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Abnormal Loads

Wide load as seen from bridgeWe regularly support our local industry during the movement of abnormal loads, the majority are transformers for power stations. We use marked motorcycles and marked police cars to escort some loads through the county to ensure the safety of other road users.

The wide loads that move through Staffordshire, are in general products made in the county. These products are key to the livelihood of our local businesses, and so prove employment in the Staffordshire area. These goods are shipped around the world and so it is vital that we support the safe and efficient movement of them to the port of departure.

Details of movements are publicised by the Road Crime Team via their Twitter link: @Tactical_Police and on the Staffordshire Police Facebook.

See GOV.UK Transporting abnormal loads, for more information on notifying relevant authorities and arranging a police escort.



Q: Why don't you do this at night?

A: Simply due to safety reasons - loads that we escort are extremely heavy and/or large.
Visibility is essential to the safety of all involved! The team operating the vehicles need to see what's happening and it makes it easier for other motorists to see the directions of the escort team.
Some loads can be 105 meters long (21 car lengths!), have up to 5 drivers and may only have an inch or two clearance either side.
Some sections of the route the load has to travel mean the load has to go onto the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic. This is due to certain sections of the carriageway being supported and strengthened enough to take the weight of the load.
Also, at night time the majority of the public are home and their vehicles are parked outside of their properties reducing the width of the carriageway.

Q: Why not at weekends?

A: We do move loads at weekends. Several different Police Forces can be involved in moving a load from its point of origin to its final destination and it can take several days for the load to complete its journey. This all needs to be taken into account as to when the load leaves the factory. Safety is always the first priority.
In the week we never move a load before 09:30 and at weekends as early as the light will allow to try and have the least impact on local traffic as is possible. We also have to take into consideration to weather conditions like fog and visibility.
We advertise as much as possible to try and minimise the impact on the public.

Q: Why don't you just take it up the motorway?

A : The loads we escort move on average at 8 mph and would take up 2 lanes of motorway. Travelling a distance of around 20 miles the impact this would have on the motorway network would be considerable so this is not an option. Also certain sections of the motorway are not strong enough to take the weights of vehicles we escort.