Highways Agency
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Highways Agency ‘abnormal loads’ website offers more help for hauliers

Phase Three of the Highways Agency’s Electronic Service Delivery for Abnormal Loads (ESDAL) service went live today. ESDAL is a free website that will enable hauliers to save time and admin costs by notifying Abnormal Load movements to the relevant structure owners and Police.

Fidelma Byrne, Project Manager for the Highways Agency’s ESDAL Project said:

“ESDAL reduces administrative burdens and modernises the procedures for managing abnormal loads. It significantly improves the planning, management and notification of abnormal load movements by acting as a one-stop-shop for hauliers.”

“Hauliers wishing to find out more about ESDAL and register their details online should visit the website at: www.highways.gov.uk/esdal.  Alternatively, application forms can be requested by emailing a company name and address to: register@esdal.com or by contacting the ESDAL Helpdesk on 01642 636789.”

Phase Three of ESDAL allows hauliers to use an online service to notify abnormal load movements to the relevant road, structure owners and police by web, email or fax. The system will store each notification and proposed route and enable the appropriate agencies to assess the route through the ESDAL website.

The Phase Three system entered pilot trials in January 2009 with a selected group of hauliers. The response was positive, comments from hauliers include:

‘It's so easy to re-notify using ESDAL and just add notes to say either that you are not moving or that your tractor unit is a different registration.’

"Much more confident that (I am) keeping up to date and within the law using ESDAL.’

‘We love the system it saves so much time.’

Phase Four enters pilot trials today, and is due to be formally launched in the Autumn. Phase Four will add functionality to provide an automated route assessment. A facility to add constraints such as road works will also be made available.

As a result of ongoing feedback gathered from users, enhancements will continue to be introduced when appropriate. Enhancements due to be introduced from the Summer through to Autumn 09 include a larger map, simplified VR1 applications, improved route descriptions and confirmation of notification delivery.

The ESDAL service is free and requires no third party software. The website has been developed for the Highways Agency by Serco Integrated Transport and is designed for all parties involved in the movement of abnormal loads.

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors

1) The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. It manages, maintains and improves the network of trunk roads and motorways in England on behalf of the Secretary of State.

2) The Highways Agency is responsible for authorising the largest and heaviest categories of abnormal loads on roads throughout Great Britain, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport.  If a load exceeds 5.0m wide, 30m long or 150,000 kilos in gross weight, it requires a Permit.  Final agreement for a route rests with the road and structure owner and the police, and the arrival of ESDAL will not change responsibilities or legislation. 

3)The four phases of ESDAL delivery are:

Phase 1: Information Website

Hauliers are provided with a route planning system showing contact details of all structure owning authorities and police forces who need to be notified of AIL movements.  The haulier can log in, sketch a route on the multi-scale maps, and the system will then identify who needs to be notified.

Phase 2: Special Orders Routing System

Helps to process special orders more efficiently by providing the Highways Agency Abnormal Indivisible Loads (AIL) Team with a system that has improved data and routing software. In conjunction with the necessary updates to the Hauliers, Police and Structure Owners Portals, Phase Two development also involves the creation of a brand new and unique Special Order Routing Tool (SORT) desktop facility. This enables the Highways Agency’s Abnormal Load Team to assist with the efficient processing of Special Order applications.

Phase 3: On-line Notification

Hauliers will be able to use a “virtual postal service” to notify all AIL movements to the relevant infrastructure owners and Police by web, e-mail or fax.  The system will store each notification and proposed route, and enable the appropriate agencies and authorities to assess the route through their ESDAL interfaces.

Phase 4: AIL Movements Portal

Phase Four will add functionality to provide an automated route assessment and allows Structure Owners to add constraints such as road works.


To use the site, hauliers need to complete an ESDAL registration form which can be downloaded from the website, or obtained by sending your company name and address to: register@esdal.com.


For more information, visit the website at http://www.highways.gov.uk/esdal


Issued by the Highways Agency West Midlands. For more information contact Mark Powell on 0121 687 4078.