A Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is a legal document needed to support any enforceable traffic or highway measure, for example yellow line parking restrictions.
When is a TRO used?
TROs are required for a range of restrictions, including:
- Access and turning restrictions
- Cycle and bus lanes
- One-way streets
- Road and footway closures
- Speed limits
- Waiting and loading
- Weight and width restrictions
Why do we need TROs?
We need to restrict certain actions on the highway to ensure safety, accessibility, and minimum disruption to the environment.
Depending on the type of restriction they can normally be enforced by the police or in some cases the council.
What form do TROs take?
TROs are mostly permanent legal documents. But there are some exceptions:
- Emergency Orders may be used when works must be carried out immediately
- Experimental Orders are used in situations that need monitoring and reviewing. These usually last no more than eighteen months before they are either abandoned, amended or made permanent
- Temporary Orders (TTROs) may be used when works affecting the highway require short-term traffic restrictions
How is a TRO created?
To create a formal TRO, a statutory procedure must be followed:
After the design has been completed, there must be a consultation exercise. This involves getting the views of:
- the emergency services
- the Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association
- local councillors and parish councils (where appropriate)
- local public transport operators
- local interest groups such as residents, traders and community groups who are likely to be affected by the proposals (where appropriate)
The proposal can then be amended if necessary.
The next step is to advertise the TRO. This includes at least one notice in the local press.
Notices will normally be displayed in any affected roads. If appropriate, notices may be delivered to premises that are likely to be affected.
The proposal will be made available for viewing at a nominated council office during normal office hours for at least 21 days from the start of the notice.
Any objections to the proposal must be made in writing to the address specified in the notice during this period. Substantial objections and contentious issues are then reported to, and considered by, the Complaints and Appeals Committee.
The Committee must then decide whether to:
- allow the scheme to proceed as advertised
- modify the scheme
- abandon it
Any changes to the proposals resulting from objections may require further consultation. This procedure can take many months to complete, and the advertising and legal fees can be substantial.
3. Making the order
Provided that all standing objections have been considered, the TRO can then be 'sealed'.