Trucks being checked by overhead cameras

International Road Transport Operations in the United Kingdom

Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Germany
Hungary Ireland Italy Luxembourg Netherlands Norway
Poland Portugal Spain Sweden Switzerland UK

Operational Activities

European operators may carry loads to, from or through the country. Loads carried between third countries can only be undertaken under a bi-lateral agreement. Cabotage is permitted.

Dangerous Goods
The UK is party to ADR. It is essential that fully completed ADR documentation is prepared for the movement of dangerous goods.

ADR Tunnel Codes
Dartford (Tunnel only)
Limehouse (East London)
Rotherhithe (East London)
Blackwell (East London)
East India Dock Road (East London)
Heathrow (Middlesex)
Between 04:00 and 23:00: Category E.
At other times: Category C

Abnormal Loads
For indivisible loads which exceed the maximum authorised weights and dimensions, special authorisation must be requested from regional police headquarters and from the Highway and Bridge Authorities of each region to be crossed.

To simplify the procedure, the Highways Agency has set up the web-based ESDAL project (Electonic Service Delivery for Abnormal Loads) available on Here you will find information on route planning, legal requirements with the necessary forms able to be downloaded.

A full tank of fuel can be imported duty free.

TIR Carnets are accepted. ATA Carnets are accepted for certain temporary imports. CMR notes are advised.

Movement Restrictions
There are no driving restrictions throughout the Road network for goods vehicles at Weekends or Public Holidays.

Road Tolls M6 Toll information and Online Purchase
The M6 Toll road is currently the only toll route within the UK, it is owned and operated by Midland Expressway Ltd. You can join the Toll road at various junctions and can either pay on exit, or pay at one of the mainline Toll Plazas, which stretch across the whole carriageway at two points along the 27 mile route. They are at Great Wyrley (northbound) and Weeford Park (southbound).

Vehicles are charged different prices according to the classification they fall into, which toll station they pass through and the time of day. Vehicles travelling on the M6 Toll are charged according to vehicle classification as determined by the toll operators classification measurement system.
Each time a vehicle enters a toll lane, sensors indicate how many axles the vehicle has (including trailers) and how high it is at the point of the first axle.

NB: Discussions are currently in progress to introduce a Lorry Road User Charge, similar to the Eurovignette. It is expected that a commercial vehicle charge may be in force by April 2014. It should also be noted that discussions are in progress to introduce further privately operated Toll roads within the UK.

Bridge and Tunnel Tolls
There are many toll bridges and tunnels throughout the United Kingdom, many of which (such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge) are only designed to take a maximum weight of up to 3 tonnes. Those bridges/tunnels that allow heavy commercial traffic use are detailed below.

Vehicle Requirements

Green Card type insurance is required for all Foreign Operators, plus original vehicle registration docs. A Nationality plate of the operators country of origin must be fitted to the rear of vehicle/trailer.

Maximum Weights & Dimensions
Height There is no compulsory height in the UK
Width 2.55 metres (Fridges 2.6 metres)
Length Artic 16.5 metres
Road Train 18.75 metres
Weight Artic 44 tonnes
Road Train 44 tonnes
There are also various maximum permitted weights on vehicles, trailers and road trains which are applicable according to the number of axles and type of suspension fitted.

Safety Equipment
It is compulsory to carry the following items of equipment and/or observe specific rules:-

It is not compulsory to carry snow chains on board a vehicle, however, their use is not forbidden. Use of chains is controlled by general legislation: 'a tyre must not be unsuitable for the use or circumstances to which it is put' e.g. if there is no snow, or road damage is likely.

Driver Requirements

Legal Documents
Full passport required for all foreign drivers/crew. International driving licence. Letter from employer giving driver permission to drive vehicle. Attestation letter and form. EU Hours rules apply.

Speed Limits

Vehicles Concerned Built-Up Areas (kms) All Purpose Roads (kms) Expressways / Dual Carraigeways (kms) Motorways
All trucks over 3.5 tonnes 48 (30 mph) 64 (40 mph) 80 (50 mph) 96 (60 mph)

Country Contact Info

British Embassy
Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London. Tel: 020 7008 1500 Website:
Transport Organisations
Freight Transport Association - Website:
Road Haulage Association - Website:

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