Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) limits and restrictions

Weight limits and restrictions applying to heavy goods vehicles.

A HGV weight limit prohibits vehicles over the weight identified to travel along a route. This may be in areas that overweight vehicles passing may cause safety issues or damage.

Weight limits

No HGVs over 7.5 tonnes signs

A Heavy Goods Vehicle's (HGV) weight limit prohibits vehicles over the weight identified to travel along a route. This may be in areas that overweight vehicles passing may cause safety issues or damage.

Weight limits are used to prevent lorries with a gross weight of more than 7.5 tonnes, also known as HGVs from using roads that are unsuitable. The aim being to improve the environment for residents and encourage walking and cycling.

Drivers and those responsible for running those services which require the transportation of goods and services using HGVs should always use and provide routes that are the most appropriate strategic and primary roads for example motorways and trunk roads, they should avoid (local) A and B roads unless absolutely necessary for access purposes and where possible avoid environmentally sensitive areas. Leicestershire County Council also advocates the use of regularly updated HGV specific satellite navigation systems.

HGVs can cause problems for communities, such as:

  • causing excessive noise and vibration when using small residential roads
  • getting stuck on narrow roads
  • causing traffic congestion on local roads

Although HGVs can be a problem, it is important to note that they’re essential in supporting local businesses and communities. In some cases, HGVs must use some unsuitable roads as access is required for local deliveries to certain businesses. Another reason could be due to the vehicle having out of date SatNav information and the driver being unfamiliar with the local area.

You can’t prevent HGVs from using your road as lorries are permitted to use any classification of road for access and deliveries.

A HGV weight limit prohibits any vehicle over the weight displayed on the sign to travel along a route. This type of constraint is usually for a structural weight limit, for example a weak bridge where an overweight vehicle passing may cause structural or other damage.

See: Heavy goods vehicles: weight limits (GOV.UK)

Weight restrictions

A HGV weight restriction prohibits vehicles over a certain weight, but with exceptions travelling along a route. These are sometimes known as environmental weight restrictions. These types of restrictions are designed to prevent HGVs regularly travelling through an area without stopping for deliveries or access. Buses are allowed to use weight restricted zones.

Leicestershire County Council has very limited powers to deal with vehicles who are not abiding by weight restrictions, however this is enforced by the police.

It is a misconception that an environmental weight restriction will stop all HGV traffic, HGVs can legally enter a weight restricted area to:

  • access a premises
  • load/unload
  • legally exit that zone by any route, once they have entered a zone
Reporting weight restriction contraventions

Communities may wish to create a lorry watch type scheme where communities can report incidents of HGVs that are using unsuitable roads to the Parish Council for them to pass the collated information to the police.

If you believe a HGV to be contravening a weight restriction you can report this to the police by calling 101 providing details of:

  • date
  • time
  • location (road name or number and village)
  • direction of travel and identification of the vehicle (registration number or company name)

The police may not respond directly but will log and review the contravention and contact the haulier or company to confirm if the vehicle was legitimately travelling within the zone or not.

Alternatively, you can report a weight restriction breach by a vehicle in Leicestershire using the online form at Weight restriction monitoring.