Events on the Highways

Traffic advice for street parties and other public events

Well managed and safe events can bring significant benefit to local communities.

As the Traffic Authority for Hampshire we aim to minimise disruption to traffic and residents and maximise traffic safety.

Hampshire County Council is the Traffic Authority for most roads in Hampshire. The exceptions are:

  • motorways and trunk roads (Highways Agency)
  • roads in Southampton (Southampton City Council)
  • roads in Portsmouth (Portsmouth City Council)
Types of events

Street parties and fetes:

  • usually for residents/neighbours only (less than 500 people)
  • only affect residents’ traffic. (No bus routes or through traffic affected)
  • diversionary routes will not be necessary for any road closures
  • publicity only to residents
  • no licences necessary if music incidental and no selling is involved
  • no liability insurance required for road closures
  • no formal risk assessment needed
  • self-organised

Major events:

  • anyone can attend (or a large, residents only, gathering)
  • affects through traffic (for example bus routes)
  • road closures are likely to need diversionary routes
  • it is publicised (for example in newspapers)
  • licences are needed (for fireworks display, entertainment, alcohol sales, food provided late at night)
  • liability insurance needed for road closures
  • risk assessment and event/traffic plan usually required
  • usually arranged by professional/skilled organisers
Who to inform

Let your local Safety Advisory Group (SAG) know about your plans. SAGs are usually co-ordinated by the district or borough council. Rather than event organisers speaking to many different organisations they will act as a single point of contact and will distribute event details to the various interested organisations on your behalf.

Organisers of cycle races and time trials are legally required to alert the police.

Using other contractors

You can get a quote from another contractor and nominate them to carry out any signing work. Contractors must be approved by the County Council.

All work must follow:

  • health and safety regulations
  • British and European Standards
  • codes of practice

Work must meet any extra requirements of the Director of Economy, Transport & Environment, or Highways England.

Supervision and maintenance fees still apply if you arrange signing independently. There is also a fee for a traffic management audit of 5% or a minimum £25.

If the County Council or its contractors carry out the work VAT is not applicable.

Road closures

If two or more events are held at the same time in a local area they can cause traffic problems so it’s a good idea to plan ahead and check in advance.

You need a road closure order even if the road will be closed for just a few minutes. A temporary closure means that all vehicles are kept out – but the road is open to pedestrians.

Road closures are handled by your district or borough councils. There may be a nominal charge to cover administration and legal costs.

Bunting, banners and decorative flags

We are legally obliged to manage anything hanging over the road for the purposes of safety.

For small scale events, like street parties, the requirement for public liability insurance has been waived and there is no charge for processing the licence.

Please let us know your plans