Organising an event that impacts the public highway

We have put together guidance for the organisers of events that may impact on the public highway. The guidance provides an introduction to the legislation and procedures for applying for a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO).

There are separate processes for Street Party Events and Playing Out Events, where the temporary closure only affects one residential street.

View the guidance for Organising a Street Party Event
View the guidance for Organising a Playing Out Event
View the guidance for Filming on the Highway

Please continue to read the guidance below if your event does not fall into one of the three categories above.

Notify us of your event and apply for a Special Events TTRO

To notify us of your event and, where required, apply for a Special Events TTRO, please complete our online Highway Events application form.

Please read our guidance before completing the form.

Guidance on holding an event on the public highway

1. Introduction

Local traffic authorities, in accordance with the Traffic Management Act 2004, have a duty to manage traffic on the authority’s public highway network. Managing the network assists with keeping traffic moving and reducing congestion.

Any event that has the potential for disruption must consult with the highway authority. Early engagement will assist the traffic authority to prevent problems on the network, helping organisers minimise the impact of their event on the highway.

This guidance gives event organisers:

  • An awareness of relevant legislation
  • Offers guidance to assist them to minimise their event's impact
  • Introduces the procedures required to apply for Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders

The public highway encompasses all roads, bridleways, footways, footpaths and public rights of ways (PROW).

If you have any further questions or need clarification on any area of this guidance please email Highway.events@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

2. Notifying the Traffic Authority

2.1 Any event that has the potential to cause disruption to the public highway should notify the traffic authority by completing a Highway Events application form.

2.2 Completion of the Highways Application Form allows:

  • The Event Liaison Officer to coordinate details of your event with any known street work activity.
  • Event organisers to apply for a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO).
  • Event organisers to apply for a permission. For example to use Stop/go boards or apply for permission to place temporary directional signage on the public highway.
  • The Highways Authority to analysis its potential impact on the public highway.
  • Offer appropriate advice to the event organisers.

2.3 Event organisers should take all reasonable practicable steps to identify land owners and environmental factors that may influence the planning for their events. Including identifying if their events venue/route is in the vicinity of any major utility infrastructure.

3. Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTRO)

3.1 Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTROs) are legal orders that allow for the implementation of temporary traffic management on the public highway. For events on the public highway orders are issued under section 16A of the Road Traffic Regulation Act as amended by the Road Traffic Regulation (Special Events) Act 1994.

3.2 Section 16A provides the power for the traffic authority to restrict or prohibit traffic (including bicycles, equestrian and pedestrians) on the public highway on a temporary basis to:

  • Facilitating the holding of a relevant event
  • Enabling members of the public to watch a relevant event
  • Reduce the disruption of traffic likely caused by a relevant event

3.3 A relevant event is defined as any sporting, social event or entertainment that is held on a road.

3.4 The regulation is mostly commonly used to:

  • Restrict or prohibit traffic on a section of public highway
  • Restrict the speed of vehicles
  • Prohibit or restrict the waiting, loading and unloading of vehicles
  • Restrict parking provision

3.5 Limitations relating to a Section 16A TTRO

  • Can only be used once on a length of road in one calendar year, except where prior permission has been obtained from the Secretary of State;
  • Can only be in place for a maximum of three days, except where prior permission of the Secretary of State for the Department for Transport (DfT) or the traffic authority if the extension is requested while the order is in force;
  • Can only be used for cycle races on the highway where the approval of Cambridgeshire Constabulary and other relevant authorities has been obtained in accordance with section 31(2) and (3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA 1988) and the consultation requirements have been satisfied in accordance with section 195(2) RTA 1988.
  • Traffic Regulation Order or other statutory provision which is currently in force in the road(s) to be closed will remain in force during the closure unless specified to the contrary on the Statutory Notice.

4. Application timescales

Event size Expected attendance Recommended application submitted timeframe Submit event information to local district council Safety Advisory Group (SAG) Attend a SAG
Small 0 - 99 12 weeks in advance No No
Medium 100 - 499 At least 3 months in advance Yes As required
Large 500 - 4999 At least 6 months in advance Yes As required
Major 5000+ 9+ months in advance Yes Yes

4.1 Highway Event application forms and associated documentation must be received a minimum of 12 weeks before the events start date. Ensuring enough time is available to process the application and produce Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders where applicable.

4.2 Early engagement is encouraged. Allowing time for plans to be amended and issues overcome.

4.3 Highway Events application forms should be submitted with the following supporting documents:

  • Traffic management plan (TMP) and map showing the area of highway restriction and diversion route.
  • Event risk assessment including the installation, monitoring and removal of any traffic management.
  • Evidence that public liability to the value of £5,000,000 for any one event is in place for the event.
  • Signage schedule and map identifying the design, size, affixation method and location of all traffic management signage.
  • Notification map detailing all consultees and households that will receive a notification letter drop.
  • A draft of the events residents’ letter drop.

4.4 Safety Advisory Groups (SAGs) are chaired by local district councils. Made up of representative of the emergency services, local council’s officers and other relevant bodies. The SAG offer event organisers advice on the safe running of their events. To contact your local SAG visit the local district council website of the area that your event takes place in and search for Safety Advisory Group.

5. Fees associated with applications for Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTRO)

5.1 Cambridgeshire County Council does not charge for the production of a TTRO for Charity or Community Events.

5.2 A fee of £1,190.00 including VAT is applicable for commercial events.

5.3 For all events we reserve the right to charge for staffing costs. Communication of staffing costs occurs during the application process. The impact matrix and staffing costings determine the level of staffing costs.

5.4 Applicants are liable for all required TTRO advertising costs.

5.5 Amendments to a processed TTRO cost a fixed fee of £50.00, per amendment payable by the applicant.

5.6 All charges are subject to periodic review by the Council.

Event highway impact matrix

Scores shown in brackets

Event size attendance Highway closure(s) Duration of highway closure*
Small 0 - 99 (0) None (0) 0 - 5 hours (0)
Medium 100 - 499 (1) One - three (1) 5 - 12 hours (1)
Large 500 - 4999 (2) Three - ten (2) 12 - 14 hours (2)
Major 5000+ (3) Ten+ (3) 48 hours+ (3)

*Duration of road closure is calculated by taking the time the first road closes to the time the final road reopens i.e. If road A shuts at 09:00 and opens at 12:00 but road B shuts at 10:00 and reopens at 13:00 the duration would be 09:00 until 13:00 thus 4 hours of closure.

Event staffing cost calculator

Impact score Staff cost
0 - 2 £0
3 - 5 £50
6 - 7 £100
8 - 9 £250

 

6.Application procedure

At least 12 weeks prior to the event

6.1 Highway Event application form submitted by event organiser with associated documents:

  • Draft traffic management plan
  • Risk assessment and method statement
  • Public liability insurance
  • Draft copy of your resident’s notification letter

6.2. Documents reviewed by Event Liaison Officer. If accepted, application moves to point 6.3. If refused, reasons given as to why, guidance provided, and organisers given the opportunity to resubmit if possible.

6.3. Public notice issued; representations considered.

6.4. If representations are received, they are worked through by the organisers and council and if:

 a. Resolved - application moves to point 6.5

 b. Not resolved - guidance provided and organisers given the opportunity to resubmit if possible

6 weeks prior to the event

6.5. Final traffic management plan submitted by the event organiser

14 to 28 days prior to the event date

6.6. Communication letter drop undertaken by event organiser

No later than 14 days prior to the event date

6.7. Written approval and Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) sent to Event Organiser

14 days prior to the event (unless instructed by the council)

6.8. Advanced warning signs displayed by the Event Organiser

Event day

6.9. Traffic management set up and monitored by qualified persons as per the approved traffic management plan.

After the event

As soon as it safe to do so after the event, all event signage removed.

7. Planning and undertaking temporary traffic management work on the public highway

7.1. Only appropriately trained and competent operatives should be engaged in the assessment, design, setting up, maintaining and removal of signing, lighting, guarding and temporary traffic control.

The following, non-exhaustive list, are known qualifications that evidence levels of traffic management competencies:

  • O1 – Signing, lighting and guarding (NRSWA Supervisory accreditation)
  • S1 – Monitoring signing lighting and guarding (NRSWA Supervisory accreditation)
  • Lantra Awards SSD12A – General Operative
  • Lantra Awards SSD12B – General Operative
  • Lantra Awards SSD12C – General Operative
  • Lantra Awards SSD12A,B,C – Foreman
  • Lantra Awards – Traffic Management at Community Events (TMCE)
  • Chapter 8 Road Craft

Qualification may only cover certain elements of traffic management. For example a course may only cover the on the day set up, monitoring and removal of signage and not the designing of a traffic management plans. Event organisers should ensure those engaged in each element of their traffic management planning are competent in the activities they are undertaking.

7.2. A site specific risk assessment (RA) should be undertaken for all works sites. The RA should be undertaken by a competent person who has a good understanding of the event and traffic management practises. Where the RA identifies that measures are needed to reduce risks these should be implemented.

7.3. Works should be planned to minimise inconvenience to all types of highway users.

8. Traffic management plans

8.1 An events traffic management plan (TMP) will assess the traffic impact the event will have. It should include details of:

  • A map and schedule detailing all traffic management measure.
  • Ingress/egress arrangements including expected traffic flow rates.
  • Emergency services access and rendezvous points (RVP’s).
  • Contingency plans in case of an incident or accident at or on the approach to the event venue or route.
  • Car parking arrangements and capacities.
  • An assessment of the impact on public transport.
  • Details of information and directions given to suppliers and event participants.
  • Details of marshal briefings
  • An equality impact assessment

8.2 A TMP will consider the safe and effective movements of participants, spectators, organisers, contractors, suppliers and all others affected by the event. The TMP will show how interference with normal traffic movements will be minimised and have regard to the convenience of alternative routes suitable for all types of traffic.

8.3 The TMP should demonstrate how the event organisers intend to promote and encourage attendees to use public transport and other modes of sustainable transport to minimise the impact on the road network.

8.4 The TMP should show how pedestrian access to all frontages and businesses will be maintained at all times.

8.5 Any event proposing to close a road on a bus route must liaise with the Passenger Transport Team at least 12 weeks before the event date. Email passenger.transport@cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk and parkride@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

8.6 Event organisers should also consider how they will manage a situation which arises when a vehicle parks within an area restricted by a TTRO.

8.7 If the event requires parking bay suspensions, please read the authority's policy and apply online on via our suspending a parking bay dispensations and exemption permits page.

8.8 The TMP should detail the procedures in place for contingency plans. For example if a road traffic accident occurred on the desired route to the event site how would event goers find out? Or if an incident occurred on site limiting egress from the event site how would marshals react to control the crowds?

9. Event signage

9.1 Signage for events can take many forms. Examples include:

  • Advance notice
  • Traffic management
  • Temporary directional for both event participants and highway users
  • Advertising

9.2 The following refers to the placing signage of the public highway. Including all verges that fall within the highway boundaries.

9.3 To obtain permission to place signage on the public highway event organisers must complete a Highway Events application form. Applications should include a map and signage schedule, examples of which can be found further down this page.

9.4 All signage and barriers placed on the public highway must comply with the Traffic Sign Regulations and General Direction (TSRGD) Act 2016 on the Legislation.gov.uk website and all other applicable legislations, guidance and codes of practise in effect at the date of the event.

9.5 The placement of the event name on temporary signage is only permitted if two similar events of the same nature are taking place at the same time. The traffic authority will give direction to the event organisers should a name be present.

9.6 Placement of event signage must be carried out in accordance with the ‘Safety at Street Works and Road Works A Code of Practise’ on the GOV.UK website and Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 8 guidance on the GOV.UK website. Ensuring at least the minimum of unobstructed width of 1m for pedestrians, 2.5m for light traffic and 3m for buses/HGV and a height clearance of at least 2.1m on footpaths and 2.3m on cycle ways are maintained around all signage.

9.7 For the safety of all highway users only qualified individuals or companies should undertake the placement of any events signage.

9.8 Existing road signage giving warnings, stop, give way, no entry, speed limit instructions or traffic signals are not permitted locations for event signage.

9.9 Placement of signs should not interfere with the site lines of highway users.

9.10 Existing road safety features, such as pedestrian barriers, are not appropriate hosting places for event signage.

9.11 To place signage on any lamp column, written consent must be obtain from the column owner. See our My Cambridgeshire Map site for county council owned lamp post details.

9.12 Excavation in any part of the highway or verges is not permitted, including the driving of pegs or stakes.

9.13 Event organiser must indemnify Cambridgeshire County Council against any claim arising from any incident caused by temporary signage.

Advance notice signage

9.14 Advance warning signs should be black text on a yellow background and be TSRGD compliant.

9.15 Advance notice signage should be located where highways restrictions are to take place or where delays as a result of the event may occur.

9.16 Placement of advance notice signage should take place 14 days before the event start date.

Directional signage for public highway traffic

9.17 Temporary directional signs may be erected for a limited period to guide traffic to special events, shows or other public gatherings that are expected to attract a large volume of traffic.

9.18 A large volume of traffic is defined as 250 extra vehicles within the event area.

9.19 Venues without adequate parking capacity should not erect temporary directional signs.

9.20 On routes where permanent directional signage exist, temporary directional signs are only permitted if the event requires directions from further afield.

9.21 Temporary directional signage should start from the nearest A or B road. Continuity must occur once signage has commenced.

9.22 The erection of temporary directional signs should occur no earlier than 48 hours before the event start date.

9.23 Removal of signage should take place as soon as it is safe to do so after the conclusion of the event. Should any signage remain in place 48 hours post event the traffic authority officers will remove them with event organisers charged for the officer’s time.

9.24 Traffic Advisory Leaflet 04/11 on the GOV.UK website details addition information on temporary traffic signs for special events.

Directional signage for event participants

9.25 In some circumstances it is desirable to place signage on the public highway to assist participants in an event. For example directional arrows or warning signs of hazards ahead.

9.26 The placement of these signs should follow the guidelines of points 9.5 – 9.13 and 9.22 and 9.23.

Advertising signage

9.27 The placing of signage advertising events on the public highway, including its verges is only permitted in rare circumstances.

9.28 To obtain permission event organisers must provide a completed Highway Events Application Form. Submitted application must include map of the locations and a signage schedule detailing the size, design and affixation method of each sign. The placement of signage should only occur after written permission has been granted from the traffic authority.

9.29 The use of local shop/parish notice boards, print and social media are more appropriate mediums of advertising.

9.30 Advertising signage placed without permission will be removed.

Banners over the highway

9.31 Section 178 of the Highways Act 1980 on the Legislation.gov.uk website details that anyone wishing to place a banner over the public highway is required to obtain consent from the Highway Authority. Apply for a banner over the highway via our highway licences and permits page.

Street lighting attachment

9.32 Attachments to a street lighting column, such as festive lighting or flags, must have a licence. Apply for a street lighting attachment licence via our street lighting page.

10. Consultation and communication

10.1 Event organisers should make every effort to consult, with local businesses, schools, hospitals, public transport services, emergency services, churches and any other person affected by the proposed road closures before applying.

10.2 The event organiser should inform all parish, district, and county councillors, in all areas affected by the event. Where possible it is suggested first contact is made no later than 10 weeks before the event. Find parish, district, and county councillor contact details on our My Cambridgeshire Map site.

10.3 New events or events that have a significant change in their plans should consult with those in points 10.1 and 10.2 on at least two occasions. Firstly, to introduce the event or change. Secondly with detailed instructions of traffic restrictions and alternative arrangements. An example of a significant is a change of route or parking arrangements.

10.4 The event organiser must inform Cambridgeshire County Council's Highways Event Team of any representations to their proposals immediately upon receipt. The event organiser must act reasonably to try to minimise or deal with any concerns or issues raised by their proposal. Email Highway.events@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

10.5 The event organiser must undertake a notification letter drop to every household and business affected by any road closures. Letter drops must take place no later than 14 days before the event date.

10.6 The notification letter drop must include the following details:

  • Event name, date, and timings.
  • Details of the legal order including reference number.
  • Statement regarding always maintaining emergency service access.
  • Statement regarding not preventing, at any time, pedestrian access to premises situated on or adjacent to any road closed or restricted by the event.
  • Map highlighting all road closures, diversion routes and other road restrictions.
  • Road closure schedule.
  • The diversion routes and any extra arrangements. For example, if a road closure is only in one direction.
  • Access to further information on the event.
  • Contact details of the event organiser for all to contact with any questions.

10.7 The communication letter must be in a familiar font and be of a font size that is legible.

11. Traffic signals

11.1 Events may request to switch off permanent traffic signals, install temporary traffic signals or temporary pedestrian crossings for safety reasons. Requirements to alter any traffic signals must appear within the events traffic management plan.

Permanent traffic signals

11.2 With written agreement from the council for any switch off event organisers must make the arrangements with the traffic authority's selected contractor - NeedhamMarketAdmin@swarco.com.

11.3 Contact must occur at least 28 days before the event date.

11.4 All cost incurred for any changes are the responsibility of the event organiser and dealt with by the contractor.

11.5 All traffic signals must be restored to full working order as soon as it is practicable and safe to do so after the event.

Temporary traffic signals

11.6 All equipment placed on the public highway must comply with the Traffic Sign Regulations and General Direction (TSRGD) Act 2016 on the Legislation.gov.uk website.

11.7 The publications “An Introduction to the Use of Portable Vehicular Signals” and “Traffic Advisory Leaflet 02/11” carry extra information on the use of temporary traffic signals.

Temporary pedestrian crossings

11.8 Temporary Pedestrian Crossings can assist when a need for a road crossing for a short period of time. For example this could be at the beginning or end of an event to assist with safe access and egress.

11.9 When considering the layout of portable pedestrian facilities the safety of road users should be the foremost consideration.

11.10 When deciding on layout and type of facility to provide a risk assessment must take place.

11.11 Extra information, including the minimum requirements for portable pedestrian facilities are outline in the publication “Traffic Advisory Leaflet 3/11”.

12. Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS)

12.1 The CSAS scheme allows for individuals to be accredited the power to control traffic for purposes other than escorting a load of exceptional dimensions. The Serious and Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 enables accredited persons to be given powers to direct traffic based on the powers constables have under sections 35 and 37 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 on the Legislation.gov.uk website.

12.2 CSAS accredited marshals have powers to stop a vehicle or to make it proceed in, or keep to, a particular line of traffic. CSAS marshals also have powers to direct a person on foot to stop proceeding along or across the carriageway.

12.3 The use of CSAS staff must be risk assessed and clearly detailed in an events traffic management plan when notifying us of your event.

12.4 When employing CSAS accredited staff event organisers must ensure the individual’s accreditations are valid in that geographical area they are to operate. Each individual police force handles accreditations in their area.

12.5 CSAS is a professional competency so volunteers are unable to provide this service.

13. Terms and conditions

13.1 The applicant is responsible for all costs incurred for the signing, running and control of the traffic restrictions granted in their TTRO. Should your event diversion route/signage require use of the A14/A428/A1/A11/A47/M11 or another authorities roads then the applicant will liaise and obtain all relevant permissions from Highways England or other highway authority.

13.2 The applicant confirms all operative engaged in the installation, removal and maintenance of traffic management equipment will be competent in the particular activity in which they are involved and must have a full understanding of the signing requirements for the activity and the correct operation of the equipment they are using.

13.3 The closure and alternative route will be signed in accordance with Chapter 8 of the Traffic Sign Manual and all signage/barriers erected on the public highway must comply with the Traffic Sign Regulations and General Direction (TSRGD) Act 2016 on the Legislation.gov.uk website. Whilst the highway restrictions are in place a fully competent operative, meeting the requirements of point 2 of these terms and conditions, will be in control of and available at all times while the restrictions are in place.

13.4 The applicant agrees to place and maintain a copy of the event TTRO and place TSRGD compliant advance warning signs at each point where a traffic restriction will take place. Notices will be displayed at least 14 days before the event and the applicant will ensure that they are clearly visible to passers-by for the entire duration of time they are on display.

13.5 Applicants confirm that they indemnify Cambridgeshire County Council against any claim arising from the holding of this event. The applicant understands that it is a requirement that organisers hold public liability insurance to the value of £5,000,000 for any one event. Applicants will provide evidence that this level of cover is in place no later than 14 days before the event start date or if sooner the commencement of the first highway restriction.


13.6 Where a closure or diversion route is on a bus route(s) organisers will inform the Passenger Transport Team at least 12 weeks before the event. Email passenger.transport@cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk and parkride@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.


13.7 The Applicant confirms they will risk assess the area of highway to be used prior to submission of their application and continually on the run up to their event reporting any issue identified in a timely manner to Cambridgeshire County Council who will assess the issues raised in line with Cambridgeshire County Councils Highway Operational Standards. Applicants are aware remedial works may not occur prior to their event. The safety of all at the event remains the responsibility of the event organisers and the applicant confirms that the event will be continually risk assess based on the current condition of the highway.

13.8 The applicant confirms they will communicate any representations made to them regarding the holding of the event on the public highway to the Highway Events Team immediately upon receipt.

13.9 The applicant consents to the council displaying information relating to their event on any third-party platform of its choosing. The purpose of which is to aid public communication of any Highways Order, restriction, or potential traffic impact of the event.

13.10 The applicant confirms all residents and business affected by the restriction(s) will receive a letter drop informing them of the event and restrictions no later than 14 days before the event start date. A copy of the letter drop is provided to Cambridgeshire County Council before its distribution. Where possible parish circulars and notice boards are used to advertise the closure(s) and restriction(s).

13.11 Nothing in the Legal Order issued by Cambridgeshire County Council shall apply so as to prevent 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 Traffic Officer. As the applicant I understand that provisions must be in place to allow such vehicles to undertake their duties as and when they require.

13.12 Pedestrian access and egress to premises or land adjacent to the roads noted in the road closure order will be maintained at all times.

13.13 All traffic management signage will be removed as soon as it is safe to do so following the conclusion of the event. Any additional event signage will be removed no later than 48 hours after the conclusion of the event. Failure to do so will result in Cambridgeshire County Council removing the signage and you, as the applicant being charged for the service.

Appendix A - Example traffic management plan

Remember all signage placed on the public highway must comply with the Traffic Sign Regulations and General Direction (TSRGD) Act 2016 on the Legislation.gov.uk website. All temporary traffic management should be installed, removed and maintained in line with the Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 8 Guidance on the GOV.UK website.

Appendix B - Example signage schedule

Appendix C - Example notification map

Appendix D - Example notification letter

Contact the Highway Events Team

Email: Highway.events@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

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