Skip to main content

Organising a Playing Out Event

A Playing Out Event is an event organised by residents to allow children's play in a closed road environment. Playing Out Events are only permitted to take place on quiet residential streets that do not affect the wider road network.

We have put together this guidance to support Playing Out Event organisers in the planning of their events. Our guidance also assists organisers in applying for a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) to close the road.

Playing Out Event online application form

Please read our guidance for event organisers who are planning a Playing Out Event before submitting an online application form.

Guidance for planning a Playing Out Event

1. Introduction

Cambridgeshire County Council recognises the benefits special events offers to communities. This guidance aims to support Playing Out Event organisers in the planning of their events. While assisting organisers in the applying for a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) to close the road.

Playing Out is a multinational parent led movement which offers free guidance on organising a play street. You can find guidance on risk assessments, consultation letters and further resources on the Playing Out website which event organisers may find helpful when planning their events.

Living Sport, the Active Partnership for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, is keen to support people to get active and have some equipment they can lend out (subject to availability) for Playing Out events. This includes high-vis jackets, whistles and appropriate play equipment (soft balls, skipping ropes etc) and they may also be able to assist on the day (subject to availability). Please email for the attention of the CYP Team in the subject line for more information.

2. Definitions

2.1 A Playing Out Event is an event organised by residents to allow children’s play in a closed road environment.

2.2 Playing Out Events are only permitted to take place on quiet residential streets that don’t affect the wider road network.

2.3 To be considered a Playing Out Event the events must meet the below criteria:

  • The event organised is for residents and neighbours only.
  • Less than 499 people are to attend.
  • The event area is a residential road with no through traffic.
  • There is no bus route along the road to be closed.
  • There is no taxi rank on the road to be closed.
  • There are no shops or other businesses, or access to shops or business premises on the road to be closed.
  • There is no public car park on, or accessed via the road to be closed (other than a resident’s only car park).
  • The event will be publicised only to residents.
  • There will be no entry charge for the event.
  • No activity that requires a license under the Licensing Act (2003) is to take place.

2.4 Events that do not fit within the criteria may wish to consider applying for a road closure using the highway events application form.

3. Playing Out Event applications

3.1 Any event organiser planning a Playing Out Event must complete the online Playing Out Event Application Form to apply for a TTRO to close the road for their event.

3.2 Applications must detail the name(s) and contact details of the event organiser(s) who have overall responsibility for each event being applied for.

3.3 The maximum duration for any one Playing Out Event is 3 hours. The time required to set up the event and return the street to the condition it was in before the event must be included within this period.

3.4 Applicants can apply for multiply events in a 12 month period on the one application form.


If the applicant wanted to apply for one event per month from 1 June 2020 until 31 May 2021. They can apply for all dates on one application form. The organiser would need to submit a new application for any event dates from 1 June 2021 and beyond.

"Please detail all dates and times of reoccurring events for this calendar year. Events can occur a maximum of once per week."

Date Time (from and to)
01/06/2020 14:00 - 17:00
04/07/2020 14:00 - 17:00
04/04/2021 12:00 - 15:00
02/05/2021 14:00 - 17:00
01/06/2021* 12:00 - 15:00
01/08/2021* 12:00 - 15:00

*Dates would need a new application form as they occur more than 12 months in advance of the first event date.

3.5 Playing Out Event application forms should be submitted with the following supporting documents:

  • A traffic management plan showing the area of road closure (see Appendix A for example)
  • An event risk assessment covering the installation, monitoring and removal of traffic management at the event (see Appendix B for example)
  • Copy of your resident letter

4. Application timeframe

4.1 A Playing Out Event Application must be received no later than 8 weeks before the first event date to allow for enough time to process the application and create the required TTRO.

4.2 Application process:

The Event Organiser must submit a Playing Out Event application form with associated documents, a minimum of eight weeks prior to the event:

  • Traffic management plan
  • Risk assessment
  • Copy of residents and business consultation letter
  • Public Liability insurance - recommended

Our Event Liaison Officer will review the documents. If the application is accepted, they will send written approval to the Event Organiser and create a TTRO 14 - 28 days prior to the event. The Event Organiser will undertake a communication letter drop. The Event Organiser must remove all event signage immediately after the event.

If the application is refused, the Event Liaison Officer will give reasons as to why. They will provide guidance and the Event Organiser will be given the opportunity to resubmit if possible.

5. Risk assessment

5.1 A risk assessment (see Appendix B for example) is a careful examination of what could cause harm to people, how serious that harm may be and the likelihood that it will occur. A risk is both the likelihood of that hazardous event occurring and the seriousness of the impact.

5.2 A competent person who knows and understands the event should carry out the event RA.

5.3 Events RA are only expected to tackle reasonable foreseeable hazards. They do not have to put in place controls for farfetched circumstances. It is reasonable for a RA to cover weather related incidents such as high winds or extreme heat.

6. Consultation and residents letter

6.1 Closing a road for an event will have a significant impact on the residents. It is vital that those affected by the road closure are consulted and informed of the event.

Consultation for new events

6.2 Before submitting a Playing Out Event Application Form organisers must consult with all other residents. This ensure there is support for your Event.

6.3 Residents should receive an initial consultation letter (see Appendix C for example). The letter should include an explanation of the proposed event and an indication of the affect it will have.

6.4 At this stage it is not necessary to include specific details like the time and date of the event. You may take the opportunity to canvas opinion on when the best time to hold the event may be.

6.5 Any communication should carry contact details for the event organisers and the email address.

6.6 In the first instance residents should be directed to the event organiser to answer any questions about the event.

6.7 Any objections to the event must be forwarded on to the Highway Events Team at Upon receiving an objection we will work with the event organiser to mitigate any potential issues that may arise from the holding of the event.

Residents notification letters

6.8 A resident’s notification letter (see Appendix D for example) is a letter informing all those affected by the road closure of the specifics of the event. The letter may also act as an invite to the event.

6.9 All residents must receive a letter. Ideally letter should be delivered between 14 and 28 days before the first event of each application. Notification letters should include the following information:

  • Event date(s) and timings
  • Road closure details - include a map if possible
  • Statement in regards to emergency service and career access being maintained at all times
  • Contact details for all to contact with any questions

7. Insurance

7.1 Cambridgeshire County Council recommends event organisers take out public liability insurance for their events to ensure they are protected in the event of a claim resulting for the facilitation of their event.

8. Fees

8.1 Cambridgeshire County Council does not charge for the production of a TTRO in relation to a Playing Out event.

9. Signage

9.1 Signage at Playing Out events informs members of the public that a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) is in place allowing the road to be closed and is used to direct traffic.

Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO)

9.2 Once your application is approved, an electronic copy of the events TTRO will be forwarded to the applicant.

9.3 At every event a clear readable, copy of the TTRO must be available for the general public to view.

Signage Directing Traffic

9.4 All signs and barriers erected on the public highway must be in accordance with the requirements set out in the Traffic Sign Regulations and General Direction (TSRGD) Act 2016 on the website.

9.5 Schemes to borrow/share compliant signage are sometimes available. If TSRGD compliant signage is required please enquire at the point of application.

Road closed sign with two traffic cones

10. Setting out, monitoring and removal of traffic management

10.1 Advice on the procedure of implementing traffic management is given with the approval of all applications. Guidance will be by phone conversation and/or site visit depending on the complexity of the road closure area.

10.2 The placement of signage and barriers, upon the public highway must be carried out in accordance with:

10.3 Our road closure guidance (see Appendix E) outlines the key points.

10.4 In all circumstance the passage of any vehicle being used by any member of the Police Force, Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance Service, a vehicle being used by Special Forces during the execution of their duties or to any person acting with the permission or upon the direction of a Police Officer in uniform or of a Civil Enforcement Officer must be maintained.

11. Terms and conditions

Cambridgeshire County Council is unable to accept any liability for any loss, damage or injury arising from the organisation of a Playing Out event. Any claims made against Cambridgeshire County Council with regard to damage or injuries caused by Playing Out events will be passed to the relevant organiser(s) for management.

Playing Out Event organisers should be aware that there may be circumstances in which a claim is made and they would be held liable for any accidents, these circumstances may have financial implications. As a result, although not mandatory, Cambridgeshire County Council strongly recommends that organisers arrange Public Liability Insurance for the events.

Cambridgeshire County Council cannot guarantee that an order will be made and any order made under this application will be revoked if any of these conditions are not met:

11.1 You must pay to the council the full costs of any damage to the highway or street furniture or other loss or damage suffered by it and of any claims made against it as a result of the making of the order and which arise from your negligence or (if you represent an organisation) the negligence of your organisation’s members or officers.

11.2 Any Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) or other statutory provision which is currently in force on the road(s) to be closed will remain in force during the closure unless specified to the contrary on the Legal Order.

11.3 The applicant confirms that all properties affected by the closure will receive a letter drop informing of the dates and times of each and every road closure.

11.4 A copy of the event TTRO must be available at each point where the road is to be closed.

11.5 The road may only be closed on the dates and times specified within the events Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO).

11.6 No closures are to occur before the hours of sunrise or after the hours of sunset at the road closure location.

11.7 The road closure order is entirely for the purpose of children’s play and may not involve the placement of any structures on the public highway during its use.

11.8 No activity requiring any form of license (under the Licensing Act 2003) may be undertaken when this order is in force.

11.9 Vehicular access and egress for careers and emergency services must be maintained at all times.

11.10 If appropriate you must clean the street to return it to its condition before the closure. This must be done before the road is reopened.

11.11 All events must be under adult supervision and that adult(s) must be clearly identifiable at all times.

Appendix A - Example traffic management plan

Appendix B - Example risk assessment

Appendix C - Example consultation letter

Appendix D - Example residents notification letter

Appendix E - Road closure guidance

Hosting an event on the public highway carries a high level of risk. Implementing temporary road closures changes the known layout of the highway and thus alters the manner in which motorist are expected to behave. By using compliant signage and following this guidance organisers can reduce the risks and create a safer event environment for the children, marshals and general public. If an event organisers has any doubt in regards to any point in this appendices clarity should be sought from council officers before they proceed with closing the road at their event.

Role of the council

Event organisers will be supported by council officers in the following ways:

  • Provided training by phone or site visit.
  • Sharing this road closure guidance to ensure event organisers are competent in the activity of closing a road for their event.
  • Give guidance on the purchasing of equipment to ensure it meets all current guidance and legislation.
  • Where ever possible make organisers aware of any ongoing signage borrowing schemes.
  • Provide on-going support for event organisers.
  • Where possible visit events to offer advice, encouragement and refresher training.

Event organiser's role

The applicant(s) named on the Playing Out Event application form are responsible for ensuring the road closure applied for is installed, monitored and removed in line with the conditions and requirements set out in this guidance. They are required to:

  • Ensure at least one marshal is available at every road closure point for the duration of the road closure. Recommendation is to have two marshals at each point in case one is called to deal with an incident.
  • Ensure that all marshals are competent to undertake the activity that is being ask of them.

This means they will have:

  • Knowledge of the traffic management plan and event risk assessment
  • Ability - marshals have the physical condition to lift, move road signage as required. Can hear and communicate effectively with each other. Are suitable for the work that is being asked of them e.g. they do not suffer from any conditions that may compromise the safety of the event.
  • Training - the applicant has shared the information given in this document and by way of phone conversation or site visit between themselves and the council officer. Recommendation is for event organisers to confirm by signature that they have been suitable briefed pre event.
  • Experience - marshals should be able aged 18 or over and be confident with dealing with members of the public.
  • Ensure the events traffic management plan is implemented in the manner described in the setting up, monitoring and removal procedure section below.
  • Ensure any signage borrowed or gifted by the council is securely stored and returned to the council in an appropriate time frame. In the case of gifted signs, to assist other events, the council may ask that signage is managed and shared between events with arrangements being made between event organisers.

What you will need

To close the road for your event, you will need:

  • To ensure a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) is in place. Confirmation of this will be provided by the council once your application is approved.
  • A copy of your traffic management plan.
  • At least one marshal per closure point.
  • High visibility jackets for each marshal.
  • Road closure signage, cones and barriers as per your traffic management plan.
  • A means of clear communication between marshals. Walkie talkies/mobile phones are recommend.

Setting up, monitoring and removal procedure

  1. Move all marshals and required equipment safely to a position on the footway/verge where closure point is to be implemented. Where possible have a second person watching for traffic while the first person is setting out the signage.

  2. Where there is more than one closure point every effort should be made to install the closures at the same time to avoid any vehicle becoming stuck between the two points.

  3. Check to see if the road is clear and communicate this with all other marshals.

  4. When the road is clear, while facing the traffic, begin by placing the first cone/barrier in the carriageway. Always ensuring the item of traffic management is between you and the oncoming traffic. Place the closest item of traffic management to the near side curb first thus creating a barrier between you and the oncoming traffic as you work your way out across the road, as per the diagram below.
A road closed sign with two traffic cones either side

5. Once the closure is in place ensure a marshal is on hand to monitor the closure. Deal with any questions from the general public. Facilitate any access requirements for permitted vehicles like the emergency services until the closure is removed.

6. To remove the closure reserve the order in which the items where put out in item 4 while always ensuring there is an item of traffic management between you and the oncoming traffic. Remove the 5th item first followed by 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st.

7. Safely store the equipment for use at your next event.

Contact the Highway Events Team


If you need help with accessing any of the information or completing the application forms, please get in touch.