Road Closures and Signs
If residents want to properly close your road, this advice will help. It is worth closing it to free up the huge space outside your house without cars to meet and play together for a change.
OR if you don’t have enough time, or don’t need to, or can’t close your road, think about having an informal Street Meet without involving your council.
Formal Road Closure With Your Council
To temporarily close your road formally with your council, one resident on behalf of the street will need to apply 3 to 12 weeks in advance for permission for a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order from your council’s traffic/highways department, licensing or events team. Find this by searching for the website page that most have.
Councils vary a lot in structure and what arrangements they require. If your council wants to charge you for a road closure or has too complex procedures then you can challenge the officers and/or your local councillors. Basically, if there is a charge of more than £50 or so then residents usually cannot afford to go ahead, so councils have to make a choice of supporting street parties in principle. The Government has asked councils to make it easier to for residents to close their road.
As you will want to write 2-3 times to every house (and any business) in the street to be involved, you are also effectively consulting them about closing the road. Street online or Whatsapp groups will not reach everyone.
You will need to suggest alternative traffic routes, if they are viable.
If you have a lot of parked cars you can close and move out only some cars from a central section of the road.
Residents Parking Schemes may not apply at the weekend, or at least on Sundays.
Your Council (or sometimes residents) have to consult the fire, ambulance and police who formally will need a 3 metre wide gap to get down the street.
Road signs – you will probably need some – see below.
Insurance, to bother or not? Although it is not legally required, your Council may either ‘recommend’ or ‘require’ Public Liability Insurance for the road closure – see more about whether to bother with insurance here.
A written Risk Assessment should not be needed, but if your Council requires one you can start and complete your own from a template from our Resources here.
Can’t or Don’t Want to Close the Road? – have a Street Meet
An informal street meet is much easier, but gives you less space.
No permission, signs, licence or money:
on a pavement, end of cul de sac, parking area, garden, or green space, any time of the year.
This informal arrangement really needs the support most of your neighbours.
This is supported by the Government as Myths 3 and 5 on its guidance here.
Road Closure Signs
Please note that the ideas below are based on an interpretation of what the Government said to councils in 2012: ‘Neither are specific signs or other traffic management equipment required. Local authorities should act proportionately, wisely, and in the public interest – and highways law do not present any barriers to that.’
Councils have a lot of different views about this, but what is important is to be practical to make the closure clear for drivers to see in advance.
If you are formally closing your road you will need ‘Road Closed’ and if your road is more complex, perhaps also Road Ahead Closed and Diversion signs. Here are some suggestions on how to get them:
1. Your council may lend proper standing signs to you or tell you where you can hire them.
2. Or you may be able to buy them locally for about £50 each.
3. Or hire them from local companies.
4. Or buy re-usable waterproof banners for use as signs in daylight only. Hang them from bins etc. but be aware of the wind.
Two normal full size banners 1 metre wide cost £34 each, or 2 smaller ones 850mm wide cost £25 each, including postage, from Banner Hub – see advert below.
– ideas and groups that can help to make your street a place to live in, instead of just a road.