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Street parties

Street parties are organised by residents for themselves and those living in the immediate neighbourhood. This generally means the event is only affecting those who are attending the event. Although they are held in public areas, these events are not widely publicised and attendance should not be open to the general public, only local people living on the roads affected.

Location

Parties should preferably be held off the highway such as in parks, public open space or playing fields (with the land owner’s permission as necessary) but when the only suitable location is the street it will usually be necessary to close the road to create a traffic free environment.

Road closures

This type of event will only be permitted on streets which are not required for general traffic movement and where a road closure will only have a direct impact on the participants themselves. It is not appropriate to hold such an event where access would be denied to premises of those not invited to the event, where access to other streets cannot be reasonably achieved by other means or where businesses or bus routes would be affected.

Advance notice

Organisers will wish to plan their event well in advance to ensure that as many residents as possible can attend and do not make other plans. We would also like as much notice as possible of any event affecting public roads or pavements. When road closures are required, to meet our statutory obligations as Highway Authority we will usually need to place details on the works and events register at least three months in advance in order to co-ordinate these with other planned activities. Where circumstances allow, we will accept shorter notice periods if there are no other demands on the roads concerned, such as planned road works. This can be complex and should be discussed with us at the earliest possible time.

Traffic Regulation Order

A Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is the legal means by which you can take away the right of anyone to drive along your street. We will provide a TRO to enable you to close the road. This will create a “prohibition of driving” under which no vehicle may be driven in the closed section of the street, as indicated by traffic signs. The event organiser must ensure that all residents within the closed section understand that they will not be permitted to move a vehicle within this section during the period of closure. Vehicle movements will therefore need to be planned to take place before and after the implementation of the closure.

Publicity

Organisers will wish to publicise their event to neighbours to encourage them all to take part. This publicity can therefore also be used to ensure that all residents affected by the event will be aware of the traffic restrictions. This will avoid the need for formal advertising of the TRO since closures will only be permitted where there will be no significant impact on other road users. Prior to making the order, we will require evidence that the majority of residents support the holding of the event. We will advise emergency services, bus operators and other agencies of the closure.

Traffic signs

The prohibition of driving will be effective when appropriate signs are in place. We will inform you of the signs that you require and where to place them. You must adhere to these instructions. Signs can be both bulky and heavy and need to be handled carefully. Event organisers must therefore ensure that appropriate people are asked to do this task and that they wear protective clothing including gloves. (Note: advice regarding traffic signs on the Streets Alive website is incorrect and must not be followed).

Emergency access

Emergency vehicles using blue lights will be exempt from the prohibition of driving and organisers must provide a means by which access can be rapidly provided for such an eventuality. This means that vehicles removed from one area to create space for the event must be parked appropriately and not allowed to obstruct emergency access, as well as having people assigned to remove the signs and cones and other obstructions such as tables and chairs.

Costs

We will minimise costs for all involved. Use of effective publicity by the event organiser will avert the need for formal advertising of the TRO which would otherwise add up to £1000 to the cost of the event. We will provide signs free of charge but the organiser will be responsible for the cost of replacement of any missing or damaged equipment.

Responsibilities, safety, liability and insurance

Event organisers are responsible for the planning and management of their event, to create a successful and safe occasion. This should include identifying those aspects for which permissions may be required or which may need control measures to mitigate against potential risks. The County Council cannot undertake this task as only the organiser can fully understand what is being planned, although we will provide the means to create a traffic free environment. We will require organisers to indemnify the County Council against claims and liabilities arising from the event and recommend that insurance be obtained.

Further information

Further guidance and advice can be obtained from:

Department of Communities and Local Government – Guide to organising a street party or fete: http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/communities/streetpartyguide

Streets Alive - Planning a Street Party:
http://www.streetparty.org.uk/

The Big Lunch:
http://www.thebiglunch.com/

NCC Coordination Teams at Highways Area Office on:
tel: 0115 9774702 (south area of Rushcliffe, Broxtowe and Gedling) or
tel: 01623 520739 (north area of Ashfield, Mansfield, Bassetlaw and Newark and Sherwood)

Your District or Borough Council.

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