Weight restriction enforcement | Oxfordshire County Council

Weight restriction enforcement

Information about Weight Restriction Orders for drivers and residents who want to report breaches.

The Police and the Trading Standards Service can enforce Weight Restriction Orders under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. In Oxfordshire, routine inspections are made across the county to ensure that vehicles are not breaking these orders.

A large number of roads and bridges in Oxfordshire are subject to Weight Restriction Orders to protect them against damage.

These orders make it an offence to drive a vehicle through the restricted area where the vehicle exceeds the weight limit imposed unless they are delivering or collecting within the weight restriction.

Weight Restriction Orders are intended to

  • protect old or weak bridges and structures
  • bar heavy vehicles from areas unsuitable for their size or if they pose a danger, for example narrow village roads, adjoining schools.

Advice for drivers of heavy vehicles

  • the driver of the vehicle is liable for the offence. The company could also be responsible as the user of the vehicle.
  • if your vehicle is seen breaching a weight restriction you may be prosecuted. The maximum fine is £1,000.

How to avoid breaching a Weight Restriction Order

  • know the plated weight and individual axle weights for your vehicle
  • know what weight restriction signs mean
  • plan your route in advance to avoid weight restricted areas
  • ensure that you display any exemption permit that may be applicable to your journey.

Finding out the maximum gross weight and axle weights of your vehicle

The maximum permitted gross and the axle weights of your vehicle can be found listed on 'plates', which must be fitted to all vehicles and certain trailers. These will either be a manufacturer's plate or a Department of Transport plate and are usually located either in the cabin or under the bonnet of vehicles or on the chassis of trailers. The weights are given in metric units of kilograms (kg).

Most importantly, know what the sign means:

Road sign showing a warning of a weak bridge up ahead Road sign showing weight limit of 7.5 tons
No vehicles over maximum gross weight shown (in tonnes) No goods vehicles over maximum gross weight shown

See also:

Advice for residents

Reporting breaches of weight restrictions in your area

We are working with Neighbourhood Watch groups to protect Oxfordshire's roads and bridges and safeguard local communities. You can use the online form below to report breaches.

In the interest of your safety, under no circumstances should you attempt to follow or stop any vehicle. Mobile telephones should not be used for any purpose whilst you are in control of a motor vehicle including taking pictures.

Help in identifying vehicle types

How to report breaches

If you have witnessed a suspected breach of a highway weight restriction by a vehicle in Oxfordshire you can report this matter to Oxfordshire Trading Standards dedicated Road Traffic Enforcement Team for further investigation.

Incident details

The direction of travel
The direction of travel


Have you taken a photograph?

Please note we can only accept photographs in their original state that have not been subject to any photo-editing software.

Files must be less than 50 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png avi mov mp3 ogg wav.
Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg png avi mov mp3 ogg wav.
Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg png avi mov mp3 ogg wav.
Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg png avi mov mp3 ogg wav.


Your details

Witness statement

If you are not prepared to provide a statement the vehicle details will be recorded but no further action taken.

If you have indicated that you are willing to provide a statement an officer will be in contact to update you in due course. Please retain any notes made relating to this suspected breach as you will be required to produce them as an exhibit.

Data Protection Act 1998

The information you provide will be recorded and used for the purposes of the prevention and detection of crime and for monitoring and administrative functions. Where it is relevant it may be shared with other law enforcement agencies and organisations.

Last reviewed
02 November 2016
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