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Traffic management - Special events procedure

Events impacting on the public highway

The  council, as the highway authority, has a statutory duty to secure the safe and efficient movement of both pedestrian and vehicular traffic and to manage our roads to ensure minimal disruption. 

Event organisers must apply to the council for the measures required to manage the event on the highway at least 40 days prior to its scheduled date.

It is essential that there is an appropriate process to manage the impact on the public highway. The public highway is defined as:

  • Bridleway means a way over which the public have the following, but no other, rights of way: a right of way on foot and a right of way on horseback or leading a horse, with or without a right to drive animals of any description along the way
  • Footpath, in relation to England and Wales, means a way over which the public have a right of way on foot only
  • Road in relation to England and Wales, means any highway and any other road to which the public has access, and includes bridges over which a road passes

Below are some guidelines, suggestions and contact details for organisations, bodies and people that will help you to plan a safe and successful event. 

Each event is unique and it is the event organisers responsibility to make sure all the details and steps are followed in accordance with any advice or instruction received from the council, the Blackpool safety advisory group or any other statutory bodies.

Pre-application advice – Events on/adjacent the public highway

Before applying for any necessary road closures, traffic management arrangements or advertising your event, the following points should be carefully considered:

What is the purpose of your event? 

Clearly identify and describe the reason for wanting to hold your event (e.g. commercial, charity, community, demonstration, entertainment). 

Event location

An accurate location should be provided. The council can then tell you which department, if any you should contact for further advice

Time scales

It is advisable to approach the traffic management section about the impact on the public highway at least 50 days prior to your event.  This will allow time to process any necessary traffic orders such as road closures.  Your application may be presented to the Blackpool events safety advisory group.

Emergency service consultations

A minimum of 40 working days prior to your proposed event taking place, you must contact the following to inform them of your propsals:

  • Blackpool police
  • Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service
  • North West Ambulance Service 

If the timescales are not followed it may be that your event can not go ahead, and any costs incurred through cancellation or postponement will have to be met by the event organiser. 

Application for road closures

It is the responsibility of the event organiser to seek approval for any road closures, diversion routes and traffic management plans a minimum of 40 Days before  the event start date. The submission of a traffic management plan does not guarantee approval.

A legal traffic order is required for any road closure. There will be charges for both the provision of a traffic order and the time taken for any council employees to process plans or provide advice. At present the cost for a traffic order is £1,000. This fee may be omitted or reduced for events run by a registered charity. Charges must be agreed with the traffic management section before the provision of any legal orders. 

Where an event organiser does not have the experience to provide a traffic management plan a traffic management company should be contacted. Responsibility for the event remains with the event organiser. Failure to provide a traffic management plan in the timescales noted will result in the event having to be cancelled as no traffic order will be in place.

Physical barriers and stewards will be required where the public highway is to be closed. A traffic management company may provide these at the event organisers request. The location of any signage and barriers must be as agreed and stay in place for the duration of the event unless directed by the Police or the council’s traffic management section. You will also be required to provide the following:

  • Event plan
  • Health and safety risk assessment
  • Fire risk assessment
  • Proof of public liability insurance
  • Licenses (entertainment, food and alcohol)

All applications should be submitted to:

Blackpool Council traffic management section 

Telephone: 01253 476180

Signs and barriers

It will be necessary to place road closed signs and barriers across the width of the carriageway and at any side road entries, including back streets, along the length of roads to be closed. Ensure that the road closed legend faces approaching traffic.

Pedestrian barriers and traffic cones may also be required. They should be placed in position on the day of the event and must remain until the event is over, or unless directed by the Police or a member of the council’s traffic management section. 

Traffic management companies can supply the required signs, barriers and cones. They will charge for the hire and delivery of these items, please make your own arrangements with the company you choose to provide them. 

Traffic signs and apparatus must conform to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002. These should be put in place by qualified staff in agreement with the council. Under no circumstance should signage, equipment or apparatus be placed on or adjacent the public highway without prior written approval in accordance with any agreed traffic management plan.

Signs or barriers must not be placed on or connected to lamp posts without the written approval of the PFI Manager:

PFI Manager - Street lighting and traffic signals, telephone 01253 476165.

Tramway safety

If your event takes place adjacent to or impacts on the tramway you will be required to notify the tramway operator and apply for a Tramway Activity Permit 

Public transport contacts 

Consideration must be given to how visitors will travel to and from an event. If the proposed event is perceived to have an impact on a street which is served by a bus route, the bus operator must be informed. Their contact details are:

Public transport contacts
Blackpool Transport Services Ltd 01253 473001
Preston Bus Ltd 01772 253671
Stagecoach South Lancashire 01772 254272
Oakwood Travel Services Ltd 01253 692700

Event and traffic management companies

The 2 companies listed below are known to provide barriers, signs and traffic management drawings for events within Blackpool:

Road Safety Services (RSS) 
Telephone: 01253 596388 

Ventbrook Traffic Management Ltd
Telephone: 01772 459459 

The council has no affiliation, and does not endorse, these or any other event and traffic management companies, but will liaise directly with them where appropriate and in agreement with the event organiser.

Notification letter 

The event organiser must carry out a letter drop to the properties, as identified by the council’s traffic management section, on the sections of any public highway affected by an event.

This should be carried out 10 working days before the date of the road closure. The letter should include in its contents the following information as a minimum:

  • Reason for road closure
  • Section of road to be closed  
  • Date of road closure 
  • Time of road closure start / finish also the event start / finish time. 
  • Diversion routes
  • Arrangement for residents/business/property owners to access their premises

The information above must be agreed with the traffic management section and comply with any traffic order sought as part of an event. It is the event organiser’s responsibility to ensure and certify in writing to the traffic management section that this has been carried out.


If a traffic order affects any parking bays (Pay and Display, residents parking, loading etc) there may be a requirement to reimburse the council for lost revenue or the suspension of the parking bays.
The event organiser must contact the council’s parking services department on 01253 476393 if any parking bays or waiting restrictions are affected.
On site parking should be provided for the organisers, competitors and stewards where possible.
If this is not feasible then parking services may be able to provide details or proposals for any parking provisions associated with the event.


Traffic management

Telephone 01253 476180