Lorry Watch scheme

Information on Suffolk's Lorry Watch scheme


Trading Standards Service can enforce weight restriction orders under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. Weight restriction orders make it an offence to drive a vehicle through the restricted area where the vehicle exceeds the weight limit imposed unless they are exempt, for example some Environmental Orders provide exemptions when delivering or collecting within the restriction zone.

The Lorry Watch scheme aims to help parishes who feel that local HGV weight restriction traffic orders are being abused.

The scheme is run by Trading Standards in partnership with Suffolk Highways, who ensure that weight restriction orders are adhered to. These orders are in place to protect old or weak structures, as well as to prohibit heavy vehicles from areas unsuitable for their size (e.g. narrow village roads).

The scheme aims to empower residents and prevent environmental damage to some of Suffolk's most sensitive settlements.

We have active Lorry Watch schemes in the following areas:

  • Barnham
  • Coddenham
  • Hadleigh
  • Holton
  • Sproughton

How the scheme works

  1. Local trained observers note details of vehicles that may be misusing a restricted route
  2. A report is sent to Suffolk Trading Standards
  3. Suffolk Trading Standards confirm the vehicle weight and registered keepers of the vehicle
  4. Investigations are made with the registered keeper and driver of the vehicle
  5. Action is taken in accordance with the Enforcement Policy
  6. Feedback is provided on a quarterly basis to Lorrywatch zones. 

Joining the scheme

If HGVs are abusing a weight restriction in your area and you are interested in joining lorrywatch, please contact your local Parish or Town Council to establish support.  If there is support for lorrywatch they can seek Observers to take part in the scheme. Observers must be 18 or over and willing to attend a short training session.  Parish Councils and Town Councils wishing to make enquiries about lorrywatch can contact Suffolk Trading Standards via;

Please note that Lorrywatch zones can only be considered where there is a weight restriction. Where HGVs are causing a nuisance and you would like to apply for a weight restriction or report damage please contact Highways. 

Advice for drivers and hauliers

Failure to comply with weight restrictions could result in legal proceedings being taken against you. To avoid breaching weight restrictions:

  • ensure that you know the plated weight and individual axle weights for your vehicle
  • plan your route to avoid weight restricted areas, guidance can be found on the Lorry Management page
  • ensure sat navs are suitable for HGVs