Roads are only closed when it is absolutely necessary. This is usually as a result of construction works on the highway because of safety reasons to protect the workforce or the general public. Typically closures are as a result of:
For details of current construction works, please visit our roadworks page.
The Council as the Highway Authority may only close roads by the use of a legal Traffic Regulation Order. This has to be prepared by the Council's Traffic Section, and advertised in the local papers. The advert will give details of the dates when the road will be closed, and the reasons why it has to be closed. It will also give details of any diversion routes for traffic to avoid the closure.
The maximum length a road can be closed is 18 months. In most cases the road closure is much shorter and every effort is made to keep road closures to an absolute minimum.
In general, applications for road closures will be made to the Council's Traffic Section by Utility Companies such as the water, electric or gas suppliers.
Private individuals can however, also apply if they wish to hold events for street parties. These will only be allowed if the emergency services (Fire, Ambulance & Police) support the application, and if the location of the closure does not unduly affect surrounding roads.
A standard charge is levied to cover advertising costs and staff time. The standard charge is £400 (2005) and this cost is payable by event organisers requesting a road closure. In addition all costs for traffic management, such as traffic diversion signs, cones and barriers will be borne by the organisers
A minimum of six weeks notice is required to carry out the necessary legal processes.
As the Highway Authority the Council has a responsibility to ensure that any traffic movements generated by special events are managed effectively to ensure the safety of all road users, maintain access for emergency services and to minimise the impact on local residents.
The Council occasionally receives requests for temporary road closures to allow special events to take place such as parades or sporting events. These temporary road closures are agreed with the Police and require a Traffic Regulation Order.
Small events will comprise temporary traffic management such as diversion route signing and associated safety measures, whereas larger events may involve more extensive measures. In this case traffic management schemes are developed in conjunction with the Police, other emergency services and the event organisers. Typically schemes will include temporary measures such as one-way operation, road closures, waiting and/or loading restrictions, parking bay suspensions and extending the hours of operation within Controlled Parking Zones.
All costs for the closure and related traffic management measures are borne by the event organiser. At least six weeks notice is required for most events in Thurrock but large events may require 3 months or longer.
Demonstrations cannot be dealt with by the council and for these events the Police must be contacted so that they can make the appropriate arrangements.