Transport strategy

Area wide weight limits

We are planning to:

  • introduce 7.5 tonne vehicle weight restrictions in three zones in Central Bedfordshire
  • take HGVs out of town centres and villages to reduce noise and congestion
  • improve air quality

What are we proposing?

A programme of work is being developed to revise vehicle freight movement across Central Bedfordshire.

By introducing a series of strategically located 7.5 tonne weight limits in three zones, Central Bedfordshire Highways aims to improve life for residents in towns and villages currently experiencing high volumes of HGV through-traffic.

These HGVs will be rerouted to the most appropriate roads. Deliveries and services (such as road sweeping, bin emptying) within the three zones will be unaffected.

Some local roads have been reclassified following the detrunking of the A5 through Dunstable to support the HGV routing strategy: for example, the A5 through Dunstable has become the A5183 and A5120 has become the B5120.

This will mean more local control over the A5 in Dunstable and its use will no longer be part of the strategic national road network run by Highways England.

Zone 1

Zone 1 currently has a weight restriction in the following areas:

  • Flitwick
  • Harlington
  • Westoning
  • Aspley Guise

Following our proposal to implement weight restrictions, there are proposed weight restrictions in the following areas:

  • Aspley Heath
  • Ridgmont
  • Woburn
  • Steppingley
  • Eversholt
  • Church End
  • Tingrith
  • Milton Bryan
  • Battlesden
  • Toddington
  • Tebworth
  • Wingfield
  • Charlton

View the zone 1 map (PDF 4.5MB) to see the different weight limit areas.

Zone 2

Zone 2 currently covers most roads in Houghton Regis and Dunstable, except for specific routes, including Houghton Road, A505 Luton Road and Boscombe Road, mainly to provide HGV access to commercial premises.

Now the Woodside Link and A5-M1 Link roads have been completed there will be wider restrictions which include both town centres.

View the zone 2 map (PDF 5.7MB) to see the different weight limit areas.

Zone 3

Zone 3 weight restriction currently cover:

  • Totternhoe
  • Eaton Bray
  • Caddington (a small part of the area)

Following our proposal to implement weight restrictions there are proposed weight restrictions in the following areas:

  • Whipsnade
  • Kensworth
  • Studham
  • Caddington
  • Slip End
  • Hyde

View the zone 3 map (PDF 7.1MB) to see the different weight limit areas.


What are the benefits of the weight limits?

  • reduce congestion in town centres
  • have fewer HGVs using villages as shortcuts
  • improve air quality
  • enable businesses to take new and improved routes, which will save time, fuel and money
  • improve Dunstable High Street

When is this happening?

The timescales for this are:

  • summer 2017 - 7.5T weight limits come into effect
  • summer 2017 - A5 detrunked through Dunstable
  • summer 2017 - roads reclassified
  • ongoing – education of drivers and companies

How are you going to enforce this?

To enforce the new weight limit ban we will:

  • use ANPR cameras
  • use extra police resource
  • work with companies and drivers to educate them on the routes

Some limits will include ‘except for access’ clauses. These are needed to permit heavy goods vehicle access to local shops, businesses, residential properties for deliveries/removals etc.

In our area, both the police and our Trading Standards officers are able to carry out enforcement and often conduct joint checks.

Are there any exemptions?

There are exemptions to the weight limits:

  • emergency services
  • in connection with any building operation
  • highways maintenance vehicles
  • agricultural purposes
  • public service vehicle purposes such as buses
  • in connection with professional driver training or testing

How can the ban help with road safety?

Weight or width restrictions can prevent large vehicles from using inappropriate roads, routes and areas in order to:

  • reduce danger to pedestrians and other road users
  • prevent damage to buildings, roads and bridges
  • preserve the character, amenity and environment of an area
  • reduce and manage congestion on the roads

Contact us

If you would like a weight limit to be changed, please contact us on 0300 300 8049.

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