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A Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is a legal document that creates a traffic rule in line with the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.   

TROs are used to: 

  • allow the police to enforce restrictions such as speed limits and U-turns  
  • enable us to enforce bus lanes and waiting restrictions such as double yellow lines 

What a TRO is

A TRO is used to put in place temporary, experimental or permanent restrictions on roads, verges, footways, cycleways and car parks.  

Examples of elements of schemes needing a TRO include: 

  • waiting restrictions   
  • weight limits   
  • speed limits  
  • bus lanes and bus gates 
  • banned turns and no U-turns 
  • prohibition of driving  

Creating a permanent TRO takes a long time because of the processes involved. This is often more than a year. 

The design, advertising and legal fees can be substantial. For this reason schemes requiring a TRO cannot be carried out on an ad-hoc basis and normally need to be included in our annual capital programme.

The TRO process

The TRO process has 3 statutory stages:

  • design and consultation
  • advertising
  • making the order

Design and consultation

Following the completion of the design proposal, consultation with the interested parties must be undertaken.  

This means getting the views of:

  • the emergency services
  • the Freight Transport Association
  • 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 may also be consulted where appropriate.

The proposal could then be amended following consultation.

Advertising the TRO

The next stage is the advertising of the TRO. This includes at least one notice in the local press.

We will usually display notices in any roads that are affected, and if it is deemed appropriate, may deliver notices to premises likely to be affected.

For at least 21 days after the notice is published the proposal can be viewed at a nominated council office during normal office hours. During this period objections to, support for, or comments on the proposals can be submitted.

If no objections are received the scheme will proceed to ‘making the order’ and introduced on the ground.

Objections to the TRO

Objections to the proposals 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 Executive Member for Transportation and Planning.

When considering the objections the Executive Member must decide whether to allow the scheme to proceed as advertised, modify the scheme or to abandon it.

Making the order

Once the design, consultation and advertising statutory periods are completed the TRO will then be formally made and introduced.

Altering an existing TRO

Once a TRO is in made, it remains in place indefinitely unless it is either revoked (removed) or modified (changes made to the existing restrictions, for example double yellow lines extended or shortened).

If the TRO requires revoking or modifying, then the whole TRO process needs to be followed again.

How TROs are implemented and enforced

 Only when we have completed the statutory TRO process can the element of the scheme referred to in the TRO be enforced.  

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