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There are two separate authorities in Northern Ireland that you must contact to arrange the movement of an Abnormal Load. They are police and the Department for Infrastructure. Who you contact depends on the type of load involved. 

Information and Legislation About Loads

Information about loads and requirements are specified below.

  • If a load is between 2.9 metres and 3.66 metres in width and the overall length of the load does not exceed 27.4 metres this vehicle / load may move unescorted.
  • If a load is between 3.66 metres and 4.3 metres in width and the overall length does not exceed 27.4 metres this vehicle / load may move, provided that the haulier supplies an escort vehicle. (This requirement is made in the interest of road safety.)
  • If a load exceeds 4.3 metres in width or 27.4 metres in length this vehicle / load may be provided with a police escort, subject to operational constraints and other factors.
  • If a load has a gross vehicle weight of 80 tonnes or more the 2 day notice rule applies irrespective of dimensions.
  • The notifiable lengths start at 18.65 metres under Construction and Use and 18.3 metres under Special Types Legislation.
  • Where the width of any vehicle or load exceeds 3.50 metres or the notifiable lengths, as above, an attendant, in addition to the driver,is required.


You can find the legislation for Northern Ireland in the following locations:

  • Motor Vehicles (Construction and use) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999
  • Road Traffic and Vehicles Motor Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types) Order (Northern Ireland) 1997

Peak Traffic Period Warning

Permission will not be granted for movement of abnormal loads during peak traffic periods except in a case of emergency.

Peak traffic periods for the Greater Belfast and Londonderry areas are:

Monday - Friday                07:30 - 09:30
Monday - Thursday           15:30 - 18:30
Friday                                15:00 - 18:00

Times for movement in all other areas will be considered on request.

Night Time Moves

The movement of abnormal loads during the hours of darkness is not allowed, unless the police Abnormal Loads Office has granted permission.

As part of an ongoing cross-border initiative, Hours of Darkness movements along the "North-South corridor" of the A1 and on to the ports of Larne and Belfast are now permissible under certain restrictions. It is hoped this will reduce the unnecessary delays previously experienced by the haulage industry and make better utilisation of the available road network for all. Contact the Abloads office for further details.

Notify Police of An Abnormal Load

You must give us two days' notice to arrange movement of an abnormal load. Use the notification of abnormal loads form to provide us with the details and email it to [email protected]

Please note that notifications received via email will receive priority.

Or you can write to us at:

Police Service of Northern Ireland
Roads Policing Unit
Abnormal Loads Office
4-8 Ravarnet Road
BT27 5ND

Tel: 028 9258 9126 or 101 Ext. 67126

Please note we cannot accept faxes.

Notification of Movement of Abnormal Loads

Contact the Department Of Infrastructure

Abnormal Loads Office
Clarence Court
10 -18 Adelaide Street

Tel: 028 9054 0540 (9am - 5pm only)
Fax: 028 9054 0024 (9am - 5pm only)
Text Phone: 028 9054 0022 (9am - 5pm only; for deaf and hard of hearing users only)

For more information, including their application form, visit nidirect.