Weight limits

How environmental weight restrictions and weak bridge restrictions are managed on routes and roads by Suffolk Highways.

Weight limits are used to stop large vehicles using unsuitable roads, to:

  • prevent damage to buildings, roads and bridges
  • preserve the character, appearance and environment of an area
  • reduce and manage congestion on the roads
  • reduce danger to pedestrians and other road users

There are two types of weight restrictions used on roads in Suffolk.

Environmental weight restrictions

Environmental weight restrictions can be used on:

  • routes or roads not part of the Suffolk Lorry Route Network (PDF, 347KB)
  • on a route where it's suitable to allow necessary access (for example, a lorry making a delivery along a route where a weight restriction is already in place)

A new environmental weight limit is decided against the objectives of the Suffolk Lorry Management Plan. It is only considered on roads with a high volume of heavy goods vehicles and where there is an appropriate alternative road.

Weight restrictions can only be introduced if it meets the procedures of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO).

Signs are installed at the location detailing the new weight restriction.

If a TRO restricts the use of a road, route or area to certain vehicles information about alternative routes needs to be considered.

It can take between 6 months and 2 years to introduce an environmental weight limit, possibly longer if there are more complex problems to resolve.

It is not always possible to introduce a environmental weight restriction. We may try to use other solutions instead.

Weak bridge restrictions

A weight limit may be placed on a bridge because of its condition and inability to support heavy vehicles.

Access across the bridge is not allowed for vehicles over the weight limit.

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