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Police forces are not taking a joined-up approach to abnormal load movements and are ignoring legislative guidance on moving heavy or large cargo, the RHA said.

It said hauliers were complaining that some police forces have imposed blanket movement embargoes and this was piling bureaucracy and cost on transport firms.

The RHA also said companies had reported inflexibility from the police and a refusal to accept short-notice movements, which was having a knock-on effect on other parts of the economy.

The haulage group said tourism, housing, manufacturing and construction were all being hampered by inconsistent police actions when hauliers were unable to move vital loads efficiently.

Last month, the RHA, the Heavy Transport Association, British Holiday & Home Parks Association, and the National Caravan Council wrote to the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) who coordinate forces to work together on common issues, in a bid to ensure regulations are enforced consistently.

The group has also written to Humberside Police, where it said there had been problems moving static caravans.

Senior officers in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, West Midlands and North Wales have also been contacted after firms complained about similar problems.

In a statement, the RHA said: “We ask the NPCC to establish a clear set of guidelines and best practice for chief constables on abnormal load movements as well as help address the immediate challenges of the increased restrictions and notification requirements.”

The group said firms can make a complaint about conduct in public office by an individual officer or force, through the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

It is understood that the NPCC has received a letter from the group but it was unable to comment further as we went to press.

Humberside police did not respond.