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Nottinghamshire County Council - Proud of our past, ambitious for our future

Bridges, lorries and abnormal loads

Contact us

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  • Have you noticed a damaged bridge? Report it using our online form
  • Are lorries causing a problem, using unsuitable roads or travelling too fast? Tel: 0300 500 80 80
  • Do you have an abnormal load to transport through Nottinghamshire? Email: abnormalloads.en@nottscc.gov.uk  

Problems with bridges on the M1, A1, A46, A52 and A453 should be reported to A-one+ on tel: 0844 372 8381.

Bridges and the road network

We have responsibility for over 1000 road bridges and culverts (tunnels under roads allowing water to drain) in Nottinghamshire.

These bridges carry the county road network over rivers, railways, canals and other roads. In addition, there are 90 privately owned bridges that belong to organisations such as Network Rail and British Waterways Board.

There are also 150 road bridges on the trunk road network (A1, A52, A46 and A453) and the M1 motorway in Nottinghamshire. These bridges are the responsibility of the Highways Agency, through their Managing Agent Contractor, A-one+. 

Bridges with weight restrictions

The permitted weight of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) allowed on the roads is 40 tonnes on 5 axles and 44 tonnes on 6 axles. Bridges failing to meet the 40/44 tonnes standard normally have a temporary weight restriction imposed until they are strengthened or replaced. The weight restriction depends on the assessed capacity of the bridge. Sometimes, if there are suitable alternative routes or there are other traffic reasons, permanent weight restrictions are made.

There are just 12 temporary and permanent weight restrictions on the county roads. Four of these are on bridges over the ChesterfieldCanal belonging to British Waterways Board and the rest are on county bridges on minor roads. 

Bridges with height restrictions

Standard height clearance over roads is 5.03m (16'6"). Bridges with road clearance below this height have signs attached warning road users of the safe clearance. There is no statutory limit governing the overall height of a load on the roads but wherever possible it should not exceed 4.93m (16'3") in order to make maximum use of the main road network. 


There are 14 public weighbridges in Nottinghamshire where you can check the weight of vehicles or livestock up to three tonnes.

Abnormal loads

An abnormal load is a lorry carrying an extra long or wide load.

Carriers planning to transport an abnormal load through Nottinghamshire must contact us, as Highway Authority, to let us know of the intended route.

We will then:

  • Check the height of any bridges and other known pinch-points along the route

  • Advise on the best routes for the load

  • Recommend how to minimise delays for other vehicles.

Loads in excess of 150 tonnes can still be moved by Special Orders, made separately for each load. Agreement on the route is again required between the carrier and highway authority.

Movements up to 300 tonnes regularly pass through the county carrying items such as transformers for power stations and large castings for industry. 

Problems with lorries

  • Do you have a problem with heavy lorries using unsuitable roads?
  • Are lorries using the roads through your area or village as a short cut?
  • Are they travelling too fast or making a noise when empty?

You can help us by identifying where and when the problem occurs so we can assess it.

The problem must be really serious, not just a nuisance. As a guide, it is unlikely that a lorry count of less than 30 per day (7am to 6pm) would be put on the countywide list for further investigation.

When a problem is reported it will be assessed and ranked in priority order. Priority depends on the following:

  • The number of lorries using the road compared to local traffic volume
  • Whether the lorries cause accidents and travel too fast
  • The nature of the road and the extent of development next to the road (particularly if there are schools or health centres). 

Lorry watch

Lorry watch is a scheme operated using local people to detect the misuse of weight restricted routes by heavy goods vehicles in Nottinghamshire. Read more information about Lorry Watch. 

Further information

  • For information about bridges in Nottinghamshire contact our Customer Service Centre on tel: 0300 500 80 80 or for abnormal loads email: abnormalloads.en@nottscc.gov.uk
  • For information about bridges on the M1 motorway, A1, A52, A46 and A453 contact A-one+ on tel: 0844 372 8381 or for abnormal loads fax: 0844 372 8383
  • For problems with lorries contact your Area Highway Office or tel: 0300 500 80 80.
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