Abnormal loads

Thames Valley Police adopt Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) guidelines regarding escorts of large or heavy loads (abnormal loads) on the road.

We do not routinely escort abnormal loads. We permit the use of private escort vehicles for the movement of the majority of abnormal loads. However, if specifically requested, a police escort can be provided but normally there will be a charge for this service.

On motorways and 'link dual carriageways', loads up to 4.6 metres wide or 130 tonnes will normally be allowed to move without an escort. On other roads, it is up to 4.1 metres wide or 80 tonnes. The final decision is made by taking into account the size of the load and the nature of the route to be used. In the Thames Valley Police area, 'link dual carriageways' are: A34, A43, A329/A322 (M4-M3 link) and A404/A404 (M4-M40 link).

Thames Valley Police are responsible for policing the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. This includes part of the M1 motorway around junction 14, the M25 between junction 13 and 17, the M4 between junction 4B and junction 15, and the M40 from junction 1 to junction 12.

Notify police of an abnormal load movement

Contact Paul Wheeler, Thames Valley Police abnormal loads officer, to notify police of an abnormal load movement.

We do not normally acknowledge receipt of movement notices. However, if there is a problem with the route or an escort is required, you wil be contacted. If your enquiry is urgent and outside of normal office hours, please contact Thames Valley Police on 101. This is our 24-hour non-emergency number.

The movement of large or heavy loads (abnormal loads) on the road is covered by the Road Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types) (General) Order 2003, and Regulation 81/82 of The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986. For further information, please visit the Department for Transport website (opens new window).