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, 347 KB)
  • 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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