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.