User:PealRinger/UK Restrictions

From Wazeopedia


This page attempts to list examples of all the types of legal restrictions in use on UK roads with references to the relevant part of the Traffic Signs Manual (TSM) and/or Highway Code (HC).

Vehicle Dimensions


Height limits in multiples of 3" up to 16'0"

  • TSM Ch4 7.3.2 The standard minimum clearance over every part of the carriageway of a public road is 16'-6" (5.03 m)
  • TSM Ch4 7.3.3 All bridges and other structures with a headroom of less than 16'-6" (5.03 m) should be clearly signed.
  • TSM Ch4 7.4.1 The imperial figure shown on signs to indicate the available headroom should be at least 3 inches less than the measured height to allow a safety margin. If the resulting figure is not a multiple of 3 inches, it should be rounded down to the nearest lower multiple of 3 inches.


Width limits in multiples of 6"

TSM Ch3 5.15.2 The maximum width permitted, in imperial units, should be 6 inches less than the narrowest part of the road, rounded to the nearest 6 inches downwards.


TSM Ch3 5.37 ...may be imposed to prevent entry to roads that are unsuitable for long vehicles or to protect the environment

30'0" B8000 nr Largiemore (also 7'6" width and 10t weight)


Note Height and Length limits imposed for environmental reasons may have exceptions.

except for access
except for loading
except permit holders
except buses
except local buses
except for access to off-street premises


There are two types of signed limits in the UK (below) using weight restrictions in multiples of 0.5t up to 40t

Structural limits affecting all vehicle types

TSM Ch3 5.32 The sign may indicate weights of 3T, 7.5T, 10T, 13T, 18T, 26T and 33T; these correlate to the classification divisions in Departmental Standard BD 21/01 “The Assessment of Highway Bridges and Structures”

Goods vehicle restrictions for environmental reasons

TSM Ch3 5.16 The sign to diagram 622.1A may indicate 7.5 or 18 tonnes. 7.5 tonnes is the more common weight limit to be signed as this includes all heavy goods vehicles with the rear red and yellow markings

Note Goods vehicle weight limits imposed for environmental reasons may have exceptions.

  • except for access
  • except for loading
  • except for access to off-street premises

Ref: Simplified Guide to Lorry Types and Weights

Vehicle Types


  • No vehicles TSM Ch3 5.2.1
  • No motor vehicles TSM Ch3 5.3.1
  • Solo motorcycles only TSM Ch3 5.3.3
  • No solo motorcycles TSM Ch3 5.3.3
  • No buses TSM Ch3 5.4.1
  • No towed caravans TSM Ch3 5.8.1
  • No articulated vehicles TSM Ch3 5.6.1
  • No track-laying vehicles TSM Ch3 5.6.1
  • No cycles TSM Ch3 5.11.1
  • No horse drawn vehicles TSM Ch3 5.7.1
  • No horses (riden or accompanied) TSM Ch3 5.7.2
  • No agricultural vehicles HC 253 (Motorways)
  • No motorcycles under 50cc HC 254 (Motorways)
  • Motorcycles up to 125cc only (Forth Road Bridge)

'No vehicles' and 'no motor vehicles' restrictions can have exception plates

  • except buses - although these are normally signed using blue 'bus-only' signage (see below)
  • except taxis - although these are normally signed using blue 'bus-only' signage (see below)
  • except local buses - although these are normally signed using blue 'bus-only' signage (see below)
  • except for access
  • except for loading
  • except for loading by lorries
  • except permit holders
  • except disabled badge holders
  • except for access to off-street premises

Note Goods vehicles are restricted by various weight limits based on the maximum gross weight. - see weight limits above


Bus and cycle only routes marked with blue signs which can be varied to include taxis or to permit only 'local buses'

TSM Ch3 15.29 Where either a one-way or two-way road is reserved for buses and cycles, the entry points should be indicated by signs to diagram 953.


Vehicle type restrictions are often time-based and only apply for set times of the day for some or all days of the week

e.g. No Mon-Fri 8am-6pm

Bank Holidays

"8pm-midnight Fri, Sat & day before a bank or public holiday midnight-5:30am Sat, Sun & a bank or public holiday"

Sackville Street, Manchester

..and worse

"Mon-Thurs 10am-5.30pm except 23 & 24 Dec and Fri & Sat and 23 & 24 Dec 8.30am-5.30pm except Sun"

High Street, Greys


Restrictions relating to cargo are predominately used in tunnels

  • No vehicles carrying explosives TSM Ch3 5.9
  • No vehicles carrying dangerous goods TSM Ch3 5.10


Disabled Badge holders

Some 'no vehicles' and 'no motor vehicles' sign may include an exception for disabled (blue) badge holders.

No learner drivers unless accompanied by an approved driving instructor in a car fitted with dual controls

From 4 June 2018 provisional licence holders may drive on the motorway if they are accompanied by an approved driving instructor and are driving a car displaying red L plates (D plates in Wales), that’s fitted with dual controls. HC Rule 253

Motorcycles ridden by a learner rider

Due to the new Queensferry Crossing being a motorway, learner riders are allowed to use the Forth Road Bridge

Number of passengers

Often known as HOV (High-occupancy vehicles) restrictions or carpool lanes these are based on the number of occupants of the vehicle. There are currently only a handful of these in the UK.

Trade Vehicles

London Royal Parks have a ban on trading meaning that any vehicles carrying signage or advertising are banned e.g. driving school car

This is part of the Park Regulations and is not the same as any goods vehicle restriction on public roads:

The Royal Parks and Other Open Spaces Regulations 1997

Unless the Secretary of State's written permission has first been obtained, no person using a Park shall—

"(6) carry on any trade or business in a Park, offer anything for sale or hire or expose or have in his possession anything for the purpose of sale or hire therein; "