With the autumnal months creeping in and another busy summer season for outdoor events, private functions and commercial events drawing to a close. We're taking a quick look back at some events from the year we've worked on and or supplied.
We've had speaker hire jobs in Haverfordwest, lighting hire in St Davids and two way radios on hire from Gloucester to Lincolnshire and around Wales for all manner of purposes. A little more on this later.
Event Traffic Management - Narberth Civic Week, Town Carnival.
One of the more technical jobs we worked on this year involved 1 of our more lesser well known services and 1 that's pretty well known and also the building blocks on how the business was formed.
Back in July this year. We worked alongside the Civic Week committee in Narberth, Pembrokeshire. This entailed planning their road traffic order from start to finish which overall involved meetings with the local police and road traffic departments, site meetings with the organisers themselves lasting some 4 months to ensure all the T's were crossed and all the I's were dotted.
Why is a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) the best options for event traffic management?
Traffic Management is often seen by many to be an inconvenience causing delays, upset and anger to those who perhaps haven't seen warning notices or for whatever reason end up in the area by chance and get caught up in the days proceedings but more and more events of any nature that involve the public highway are going into traffic management orders to allow their events to take place safely on highways and byways. This gives full peace of mind to those taking part in the event or occasion plus gives organisers more power with traffic control and traffic flow whilst the given occasion takes place.
That said, many events around the UK that are running on smaller and quieter roads do 'go with the flow' and blend into existing traffic with just a few marshals and perhaps a chase car to warn motorists of their movements. This is common for small town carnivals and the like.
What is a TTRO - Temporary Traffic Regulation Order?. Highways.
There's no doubt in the fact that although more costly. Having a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) is the safest and smoothest way to have your activities carried out on a road or major highway. Many councils are also insisting that event organisers go down this route as it ensures safety for both event goers and motorists themselves giving greater control.
A temporary traffic regulation order is neccessary when you need to temporailiy close or reduce vehicle and or pedestrian activity on a public highway. A TTRO is essential if you have a pre planned event that will be operating on your local authorities roads or national highway roads for more urban areas.
Having a TTRO allows your event to take place legally and also gives you powers of enforcing a closure to ensure the event runs smoothly. See our example above on going with the flow. Something that is no longer acceptable.
You should have your TTRO drafted and submitted at least 12 weeks prior to your event. This gives you room to work out issues. The earlier the better. If you are inside this time frame, it's likely to be refused.
You will need comprehensive insurance and also Traffic Management Staff and Road Signage. This can be supplied by a traffic management company who can also do your TM plan if you're unsure. See below further examples of what is required.
Oxfordshire County Council have a great pdf here of your temporary event signage guidelines.
Getting a TTRO for my event
If you are thinking of running an event on the public highway you will almost definitely have to speak to your local authority about a TTRO. Your local authority will be very amenable with some even offering a lower administration fee for those charity and community events that are not for commercial gain or ran on a commercial basis so it's worth finding out to save yourselves some extra money when applying.
Speak to your local authority traffic department and ask about a TTRO to get you started.
Our traffic management plan for Narberth Carnival
Our work that was involved in the Narberth civic week TTRO consisted of the main key parts including;-
- Road Closures and Affected Route
- Planned Diversion Route(s)
- Risk Assessment - Both in terms of the routes above and the event itself
- Contingency Plans - Bad weather, emergencies, breakdowns etc.
- Advance Notices and Warnings - To local residents/businesses
- Communication Planning and Strategy
- Emergency Action Plan - Local Emergency services access
And of course, maps, drawings, sketches and a breakdown of the event signage and road signs that were required for the closures and diversions. This helps paint a better picture to all those reading your application to understand your plans. The more descriptive and informative you can be, the better.
Once the plans were drafted the first meeting with the local police and council traffic staff were made.
We discussed many points in the TTRO including more clarification on points for the planned itinerary to save confusion on the day to give everyone a better understanding pre events taking place. Once the plans were all water tight and agreed between the organisers and police. We then submitted the plans to the local council to be put for public consultation. This takes up to 4 weeks before being granted.
Once granted it's was all hands to the pumps to get event signage deployed 2 weeks before the first event taking place. We had our yellow advance notice signs put up on lampposts, street corners, traffic islands, road junctions and more around the affected routes including a copy of the traffic order itself to highlight the dates/times to motorists. It's key to get as many out as possible and on key traffic areas to ensure as many people as possible see the notice. We opt for A2 yellow advance notice signs using the Transport Heavy font. (highways signage font). The bigger the signs the easier for motorists to read at speed.
The 6p's..... cruical to any planning. Prior planning prevents..p p performance.
With the advance notices up and displayed the days were ticked off in the build up to the first event. As the morning of the first event approached. Traffic Management vehicles cleaned down and Chapter 8 markings checked plus a full check of the vehicle warning lighting prior to setting off to the first meeting point. Traffic management staff were briefed and with copies of the order in hand everyone made their way to their positions following a full radio check amongst TM staff and local police officers.
Staff got to the relevant locations whilst checking deployed cones and closure/diversion signage and then brought the road closure signage into force in accordance with the TTRO. With all points made secure and a sterile environment ready. The first procession lead off on time and as planned. Once complete all points were dropped and then collected as soon as safe to do so to try and minimise disruption to motorists waiting at various closure points along the traffic route.
Our ability and stock of event two way radio communications meant we had full radio coverage of the routes to ensure both TM staff, police and event marshals were in constant contact whilst the various events took place through the week. This allowed us as TM staff and the police to get a view on what's taking place around the town and on the various TM points. Walkie Talkies are absolutely key to traffic management to allow event organisers to keep their fingers on the pulse and to remain as safe as possible.