Letter from the Abnormal Loads Officer

Dear Mrs/ Ms Dewsbury,
I am the Abnormal Loads Officer(ALO) for Norfolk Constabulary and have been asked to contact you regarding an incident in Barnham Broom on 26th June 2014, involving a large goods vehicle and a car which was causing an obstruction on the Highway.
I was made aware of this problem the following day and spoke to the haulier concerned to get an all round view of the situation, and it appears the problem arose due to the very poor choice of parking by the car driver. All avenues were exhausted on the day and the driver could not be found, the lorry could not turn around so the officer on scene took the necessary action to remove the obstruction so the lorry could continue its journey.
My role as ALO involves reviewing all abnormal loads which intend to travel on the roads in Norfolk and Suffolk Constabulary, which amount to in excess of 30,000 in the last three months, and my primary concern is the safety of other road users, and the people who are in both Counties.
The haulier in question, Richard Long of Wicklewood, notifies many moves to this office each month and many other loads which are not notifiable to the Constabulary.
I have been in post for the last seven years and have always had a good rapport with Mr Long and his office staff who notify me of the movements, and we have an agreement where there are three designated routes to and from his depot which were drawn up after consultation with Roads Policing and local Safe Neighbourhood Team (SNT) officers , and an understanding that he does not move through Barnham Broom during school start and finish times.
The two routes for any loads over 44,000kgs are as follows to be split evenly between the two:
Route 1: B1135 from depot – B1108 – A47 and onwards
Route 2: B1135 from depot – B1108 – Dark Lane – Bell Road – Mill Road – Honingham Road – Barnham Broom Road – Mattishall Road – A47 and onwards

Any load under 40,000kgs(either Route 1 or 2 or 3) :
Route 3: B1135 from depot – Tuttles Lane– A11 and onwards.

Part of my role as ALO is liaison with the hauliers to use the safest route to and from their depots and to ensure that all moves are notified to this office with at least 48hours notice.
The Construction and Use Regs. 1986 and the Special Types General Order 2003 govern the movement of such Abnormal Loads on the road in respect of lighting, notifications, speed limits etc. but gives me no authority to stop any vehicle from using a particular road, and as long as the relevant notification has been lodged with me, and the haulier abides by the laws laid down by the legislation and any other legislation such as weight limits, then he can use any road. I am not aware of any weight restriction in that area.
There are guidelines in place from ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers)which affects abnormal loads and the use of Private escort vehicles, Police Escorts which are paid for by the haulier, and in Norfolk we do not allow any movements at night (as defined by “lighting up times”). To that end each of the abnormal loads over 3.5m wide moved by Richard Long are required to have a private escort till they reach the A47, as it did on the day in question.
However, Richard Long Transport have abided by the agreement reached with me and for the last seven years since being in my post I have had no complaints from residents or other road users regarding these large loads .In fact, for the last four years PCSO Marie Albinagorta who works in this area, has stated that no one has told her of any problem.
As far as signage forewarning of a wide load, I feel this is not manageable and an escort vehicle with amber flashing lights does the job albeit only an immediate warning.
If weight restrictions were imposed then obviously the loads would be routed on the B1108 to the A47, but this would also affect any agricultural vehicles in this area which also have to access the village.

If Mr Long agreed to stop moving through Barnham Broom then his only route in and out of Crownthorpe would be along the B1108 to the A47 and the pressure on other villages like Barford and the road system would be doubled.

Should you wish to discuss further or visit at Norfolk Police Headquarters, Wymondham, I will be happy to assist,
Kind regards

Graham Knight
Abnormal Loads and Voice Recording Administrator
Norfolk Constabulary,
Jubilee House, Falconers Chase,
NR18 0WW.

Tel. 01953 424672
Fax.01953 424656

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