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Traffic management for large events

Most events, depending on the location, will require a traffic management plan, with a full risk assessment.  It must clearly identify all risks to the travelling public, visitors and employees attending the event. 

If your event could cause serious traffic disruption or road safety problems, it may not be allowed to go ahead.  So it’s important to produce a detailed plan and involve the police and us at the earliest opportunity.

If your event takes place on the highway or road, you will be responsible for public safety as the event organiser.

Your traffic management plan will need to consider the issues below.


  • How will visitors get to the event, e.g. bus, coach, train, walk, cycle, car?
  • How will you organise traffic control on the roads to the site and on the site itself?

Roads, public rights of way and bridleways

  • Which roads, paths and bridleways may be affected by your event traffic?
  • Will they be able to accommodate the extra traffic from the event without causing delays?
  • How will you deal with breakdowns or collisions on the roads leading to the event site?
  • Will you need to apply for any road closures?

Road closures

If you need a road closure for your event, you must allow at least three months for your application to be processed.

  • Which roads or sections of the road will need to be closed?
  • Where will traffic be diverted?
  • Are temporary traffic lights required?
  • Will the closure clash with any road works or other activity on the roads near the event?  View our online road works webpage.

Directional signage

Directional signs are only allowed on the highway if there will be a large number of drivers visiting the event who are unfamiliar with the area or if specific routing is needed.

  • What directional signage will be used and where?
  • What will the signs say?
  • Who will erect and maintain the signs?  This must be done by an accredited contractor with £5m public liability insurance.
  • What are the rules for banners over the highway, advertising boards on the pavement and temporary signs and advertisements on the highway?

Public transport

  • Do you need to contact public transport operators to see if extra buses or trains with more carriages can be arranged?
  • Do you need to arrange free buses?
  • Will you need park and ride or park and walk facilities?

Car park closures

If a public car park will be closed because of your event, warning signs will need to be in place at least a week in advance of the closure to inform people.

Things to consider are;

  • Will any car parks need to be closed to traffic because they are being used as event venues?
  • What alternative parking is available?
  • What arrangements will be made to replace any disabled parking spaces if a car park has to be closed?

On street parking

  • Does on street parking need to be restricted to allow better access to the event site?


  • What parking is available for organisers, visitors and emergency services at the event site?
  • Do you have enough car parking on site for the number of visitors you are expecting?
  • How will you deal with breakdowns that block access to parking?

You need to think about car parking facilities for your event at an early stage.  The parking area needs to be easily accessible for all types of vehicles. Especially emergency vehicles and pedestrians.

Once you have chosen the venue for your event, make a site visit and carry out a risk assessment of any parking area, highlighting hazards such as:

  • potholes
  • ditches
  • risk of flooding
  • uneven ground

If these hazards can’t be made safe, you should choose another site for your event. Go through the risk assessment again for the parking facilities at the new site.

Before the event you will need to draw up a parking plan.  You will also need to arrange for someone to coordinate parking on the site during the event.  Your plan should include:

  • A traffic flow system
  • Plenty of stewards to manage the traffic flow, particularly at peak times
  • A way to keep pedestrians and moving traffic separate
  • Disabled parking with good access
  • A separate parking area for exhibitors and performers
  • Pick up and drop off points for any park and ride system that will be in operation

You will need to carry out another risk assessment on the day of the event before the car parking facilities are open for use. There will need to be regular safety checks throughout the event.  You should keep a written record of all checks.

Event notification forms

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