This project report presents the issues surrounding the movement of abnormal loads at night compared with their movement during the daytime. The aim was to consider the drawbacks and problems of encouraging loads to move at night, as well as the potential benefits, and to provide advice and recommendations to help facilitate the practice. The Highways Agency’s intention is to enable night-time moves rather than enforce them. By identifying the factors that discourage or prevent night-time movements and considering ways to reduce these obstacles, it is hoped that over time it will be easier to obtain permission for night-time moves and that there will be greater take-up of the opportunity by the industry.
Transferring movements on the Highways Agency road network to night-time hours is predicted to bring benefits in terms of reduced congestion during the daytime and result in lower delay values that are used in the PSA target. Results suggest that most benefits can be achieved by rescheduling just a few of the loads, provided they are carefully selected.
There are a number of problems which would need to be overcome before the practice can be widely encouraged:
• possible increase in accident risk and severity,
• travel will generally not be permitted on local roads at night;
• roadworks information is not adequate for planning purposes;
• current visibility requirements are not adequate for safe travel at night;
• problems finding available lay-bys that are suitable for AILs;
logistical issues – increased working time and costs for hauliers.

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