Many of the county's roads and several of its bridges have a weight restriction placed on them for either environmental or structural reasons.
Environmental restrictions are put in place to keep heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) away from rural areas, villages, residential estates and other roads which are considered unsuitable or dangerous for them to use.
Structural restrictions are put in place to reduce 'wear and tear' on roads and bridges vulnerable to damage - examples are Swarkestone Causeway and the Bailey bridge at Walton-on-Trent.
HGVs with a maximum gross weight above the restriction limit are prohibited from travelling along those roads.
However, there are certain exemptions which include:
- vehicles making deliveries or collections at premises within the restriction
- vehicles working on or near the roads in question
- emergency service and military vehicles
- buses, coaches and other public service vehicles
Most restrictions in Derbyshire exclude vehicles over 7.5 tonnes but there are some restrictions of 3 tonnes, 3.5 tonnes and 18 tonnes.
All restrictions are based on the maximum gross weight of the vehicle; this is the maximum permitted weight of the vehicle when fully loaded.
Because the limits apply to the maximum permitted weight of vehicles, empty HGVs or those with part-loads are still subject to the prohibitions and should not use restricted roads.
What we do:
- carry out enforcement checks at weight restrictions, sometimes with the police present
- issue written first-time warnings to operators and drivers found breaking restrictions, in line with our compliance policy
- report companies and drivers found committing a second offence after a warning - this may result in them being taken to court
- work with the our environmental services department, police, VOSA and DVLA to make sure restrictions are clearly signed and enforceable
- encourage local residents to report details of vehicles suspected of illegally using restricted roads using the form attached to this page
- where possible, we contact operators of vehicles reported breaking restrictions to advise them of the restriction and encourage future compliance
- we notify the traffic commissioner of persistent offenders and any enforcement action we take (the commissioner uses this information in connection with issuing operator licences)
What we cannot do:
- stop vehicles
- investigate an incident reported by a member of the public unless the vehicle registration number and any other details are provided in writing - this can be done by letter, email or the monitoring form attached to this page
- investigate incidents involving foreign-registered vehicles
- take formal action (for example caution or prosecution) only on the basis of a vehicle being seen within a restriction
Please complete our weight restriction monitoring form if you wish to report details of any vehicles suspected of illegally using restricted roads.