UK Government guidance on closing your high street for a community event

street sceneMinistry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) launches Guidance on closing your high street for a community event allowing communities to come together to celebrate their place to promote acknowledgment of vibrant and sustainable high streets and town centres.

Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government writes:

The government wants to make it easier for local areas to celebrate their high streets. This includes through community events, be it a high street party, a concert or a different type of event.

For some community events you may wish to temporarily close your local high street.

If you are a local authority
You can close your high street by using a ‘Special Events order’ (under s16A of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984).

If the part of road that you want to close has already been subject to a Special Events order in the same calendar year, then you will need to apply for approval from the Secretary of State for Transport. You should seek approval a minimum of four weeks in advance of the proposed event. The Department for Transport have published guidance on this process and asks authorities to use an application form.

If you are an individual or an organisation
If you are an individual, or business or community organisation, then you will need to talk to your local authority. You will need to ask them to use a Special Events order to close the high street. You will also need to talk to residents and businesses on your high street, to make sure that they support the closure. You may also find it helpful to talk to one of your local councillors, to gain their support. This may help when you approach your local authority. If you are an individual, then you may find it helpful to gain support from organisations within your town. This could be a Town Centre Partnership, a Chambers of Commerce, or a Business Improvement District if you have one.

What information does your local authority need to close a high street?
When asking your authority to close the high street, you will need to provide them with some information. This is so that they can process the closure. The things they may need to know include:

  • name of person or organisation:
  • contact address (including postcode)
  • telephone numbers
  • email address
  • name of road(s) to be closed
  • precise extent of closure
  • date and time of road closure
  • have you consulted the residents and businesses in the road to be closed?
  • have you consulted businesses in the wider area that may be affected?
  • if yes, can you provide evidence that most are in favour?
  • are there any objections?
  • Your authority will also need to consider other things. These include signage, alternative routes, bus routes and emergency routes. However they are likely to prefer to do these themselves.

How long will it take?
The amount of time needed will vary depending on local circumstances. We recommend that you allow as much time as possible, so that all the necessary arrangements can be made.

We recommend approaching your local authority or councillor as early as you can. This should be at least several weeks ahead of the planned event, as your authority may have its own notice requirements.

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