Currently any load which exceeds 2.9m wide, 18.65m long or 44 tonnes gross weight must be notified to the police and highway authorities before it can be moved on the road. But the process of getting permission though the current paper-based system can take weeks and is becoming increasingly complex as the number of parties involved grows.
A contract to design, supply and operate the portal has been awarded to Serco Transport Systems, and the first stage of a four-phase implementation will go live in April 2005.
The portal will allow hauliers to sketch a route using a map-based graphical interface, which identifies the authorities they will need to notify. A public website will also be created containing information regarding the movement of abnormal loads and containing links to other internet resources such as government regulations and guidelines.