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Event Planning: Traffic Signage Regulations

Traffic Signage Regulations

It is an offence to place any signs, pictures, letters or other marks on the surface, structures, or trees on the highway without permission from KCC highways authority, and you could be fined.

If you employ a signage contractor they must have accreditation for units 2 or 10 of the New Roads and Street Works Act to place signs on the highway and must have minimum £5m public liability insurance which they will need to produce to the roadwork’s team.

The following criteria will be used to determine whether signs will be permitted on the highway:

  • There must be a substantial number of drivers who are not familiar with the area, who are seeking the event or the existing signing to the event location is inadequate to guide people to the event.
  • Traffic Advisory Leaflet pdf document: Temporary Traffic Signs for Special Events issued by the Department for Transport will give you more information.

The signing should only be used to guide traffic intent on finding the destination and therefore would normally only be erected in the vicinity of the location in question. Signs will not be approved if they are intended as advertisements in order to attract motorists and encourage extra trade.  If signs are permitted they will conform to the following criteria:

  • Signing will only be considered for short-term events.
  • Where possible signing of the type “For {Event name} Follow A123” should be adopted; this will keep the number of signs to a minimum by utilising local directional signage.
  • Commercial names of event sponsors are not permitted.
  • The signs shall not normally be erected more than 48 hours before the event and removed not more than 24 hours after the event. Earlier erection of the signs may be agreed if it can be shown that it would be beneficial to other road users.
  • Advanced warning signs placed at least a week prior to your event is a good way of warning other road users to expect delays or increased vehicle movements

The signs must comply with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002; relevant Traffic Signs Manuals - Chapter 7 and British Standards.

The signs should follow the practice of pointed signs at junctions and rectangular signs in advance.

A sign should not obscure a driver’s view of any permanent traffic sign.

No part of the sign should be less than 450 mm from the edge of carriageway, normally no less than 2.3m above a footway (2.1m minimum) and no less than 2.5m above a cycleway.

The signs should be securely and neatly fixed and where possible this should be on existing street furniture. This should be without damage to the street furniture, the repair of any damage being met by you or the company erecting the signs. No sign with an area exceeding 0.3 m2 should be fixed to a lamp column; the consent of the Street lighting team is required when a request is made to attach signs to Lamp Columns, you should allow at least 28 days when making this request.

No sign should be attached to private apparatus without the permission of the owner being obtained.

No other signing or fly posting should be provided for the event (failure to comply with this may result in the removal of all the signs for the event and / or prosecution).

Signing Principle, ask yourself this question

“Will someone coming along the road or footway from any direction understand exactly what is happening and what is expected of them?”

It is important to remember that those placing signage on the highway or manning road closure points are in fact working on the highway; you must have a specific risk assessment for these activities. KCC may not allow traffic management measures to be placed if this risk assessment has not been completed.

Guidelines on traffic control during an event

traffic control guidelines
Road/Junction TypeLevel of competency of person placing sign or equivalentTM requirements

Major road/ junction of major road

  • Traffic Management Company
  • Possible Police involvement
  • Full TM required
  • High visibility clothing or roadwork’s equivalent

Main Road

  • Traffic Management Company
  • Community Safety Accredited Person (CSAS)
  • Street works Accredited person
  • Full TM required
  • High visibility clothing or roadwork’s equivalent

Estate through road

  • Off Duty Police Officer/PCSO
  • Community Accredited person (CSAS)
  • Street works Accredited person
  • Qualified/experienced marshal
  • Road Closed sign + cones
  • High Visibility jacket / vest

Quiet Estate road Cul-de-sac

  • Competent person – no specific experience
  • Road closed sign + cones
  • High visibility jacket/vest

Rural road (National speed limit

**Assessed on individual conditions of road**



Minimum requirement for anyone placing or removing signs:

  • Person aged 18 years or over
  • Physically fit to carry and place/remove sign
  • Wearing appropriate high visibility clothing.
  • Wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment such as sturdy shoes and gloves
  • Briefed on the exact requirements of the sign schedule
  • Be aware of the road and dangers involved

Think about including the above information in your TMP. A copy of any briefing is a useful document, although you might expect marshals to follow instructions it is not always the case. Ideally your marshals should have some knowledge of the Highway Code, hold at least a provisional licence or have undertaken the task for a number of years.

Remember to include traffic management and placing signs on the highway in your event risk assessment and ensure that control measures are in place to reduce risk. Some control measures are listed below (only applicable to roads with a 30 mph speed limit or less):

  • Briefing to be undertaken with all marshals working on the highway prior to commencement to ensure they know what is required (keep a copy of the briefing)
  • Signs to be erected at suitable locations on the verge (not on bends) to ensure clear sight lines, to ensure drivers have sufficient time to safely read the information and react.
  • Any vehicles use on highway to assist or protect marshals must be taxed and insured for this use during the event.
  • All staff & operatives to wear Hi Vis at all times, (sturdy shoes and gloves are also a good idea)
  • Signs to be set up before deliveries and public access commence
  • Flashing beacon or warning lights to be used on any vehicles used to set up traffic management systems or place signs
  • Marshals to face oncoming traffic (never turn your back to traffic)
  • Stay on verge or footpath where possible when setting up signage
  • Work back towards the event entrances placing more signs as necessary
  • Use the same procedure along each access route
  • When removing signs or traffic management measures reverse the above procedure.
  • Traffic management measures are to be checked at regular intervals and adjusted as necessary.
  • Road closure signs and cones/barriers are to be placed only when there is a break in traffic and it is safe to do so.
  • Once signs and cones have been placed do not stand in the highway unless absolutely necessary.
  • Signs to be weighted down to prevent them from being blown over.

'Safety at Street Works and Roadwork’s A Code of Practice' (GOV.UK website) – enforced from October 2014

Although this document primarily deals with roadwork’s it also refers to the correct procedures for dealing with signage situations, operatives working on the highway and health and safety issues.  In the interests of continuity for all road users this publication will also be used for event signing lighting and guarding and whilst events are not roadworks, the Code of Practice is still applicable.