Police forces across England are increasing working with councils to set times that abnormal loads can or cannot travel on the UK’s roads and the impact is increasingly making construction more expensive, logistically complex or practicably impossible.

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), said:

“A productive nation is nothing without a well-functioning construction industry, but we are increasingly finding that the operational side of construction is far from the minds of decision makers.

Plant machinery hire was already negatively impacted by the removal of red diesel for construction because it caused fuel theft to increase, plant machinery costs to rise and created new and greater maintenance challenges. Today we are hearing that crane operators and hauliers moving abnormal sized loads are pulling out of the market because embargoes on travel between certain hours are making jobs impossible, financially unviable or having seriously negative impacts on workforces.”

Concerns cited by industry hauliers:

Contractual complications due to weather conditions for transport not being suitable
Higher costs of escorts and self-escort complications
Project delays and knock on cost impacts
Regulations hindering deliveries, for example: environmental and working hours
Workforce stress and unavailability
Local and regional differences in haulage regulations
Rico Wojtulewicz, Head of Policy and Market Insight, said:

“With so many issues across the industry, from the cost of materials, and shrinking pool of workers, to a broken planning process and increased insolvencies, we need the Government to act quickly and sort out this mess.

A temporary Written Ministerial Statement removing all embargoes on travel for abnormal loads would give the Government time and space to have a consultation on how travel restrictions should work nationally. Letting local police forces and councils make decisions on travel embargoes, particularly when they are not providing evidence of their rationale, is creating a logistical nightmare and another major barrier for UK productivity.”