The restriction of traffic movement will generally require the making of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) which is the legal process of limiting the way in which the public highway can be used. Police support for this type of restriction is essential to its effectiveness.
However, it is Police policy to only support those Orders that demonstrate that a self-enforcing regime can be achieved. It is worth noting that restrictions on traffic movement are resource intensive to enforce with Police officers needing to observe a vehicle performing the prohibited manoeuvre or passing entirely through a prohibited route in order to confirm that a traffic offence has been committed.
All restrictions on traffic movement must consider the knock-on effects to the surrounding road network, as restrictions placed at one location can increase traffic movements at another. This can increase journey times and the number of trips, cause localised congestion and have an adverse impact on vehicle emissions and fuel consumption.
Most restrictions of this type will also allow an exemption to the prohibited or restricted vehicles if they require access to any of the premises on that route, such as for visiting and deliveries. The Highway Authority has no powers to restrict the type or size of vehicle that can access local premises.
In order to be effective all controls must be capable of being easily understood, self-enforcing, inexpensive to sign and seen to be necessary by both drivers and the local community.
The County Council tries to ensure that large goods vehicles travel between centres on the County’s main road network to reduce their environmental impact.
The restriction of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) must consider a number of factors. It is vital that a suitable alternative route exists for diverting HGV’s that that does not pass through environmentally sensitive areas, does not create a major increase in distance for lorry operators, avoids dangerous junctions or other unsuitable locations and will not result in increased road maintenance costs. Progression of a restriction will only be considered for minor roads where there are relatively high numbers of HGVs passing through an inappropriate route and where this has an adverse effect on other road users, and this is supported by the County Council’s policy.
This type of restriction prohibits through traffic of all types. In some instances a physical barrier has been applied as a road closure measure, and this is undoubtedly the most effective means of control. Without a physical barrier few such restrictions are successful.
However, this does restrict access choice and can impact on response times for the emergency services and public transport links. The Prohibition of Driving restriction is most suited to minor roads that are clearly not intended as a route between two villages or areas, and therefore a suitable alternative route must exist.
The one-way system requires drivers to proceed on a route in a specified direction only. There can be a tendency for traffic speeds to increase a little on one-way street
due to the absence of opposing traffic and for on-street parking to be increased. One-way systems often circulate town or city centres to control the flow of traffic around a central core and reduce conflict. In some cases this can increase trips, journey length, and travel time.
There are two types of weight restriction:-
Environmental – Can only be 7.5t or 18t restrictions based on maximum gross weight. This type of restriction only applies to goods vehicles (not buses, cranes, agricultural machinery or emergency vehicles). A weight restriction is unlikely to be effective where much of the goods vehicle traffic has business in the area.
Structural Weight Limits – Are used to protect weak bridges and culverts that are physically incapable of accommodating vehicles of a size that will exceed the posted limit.
A physical width restriction can be effective at preventing large goods vehicles from entering an area. This can prevent many through movements but will still allow access to the area. Careful consideration must be given to the effect this may have on necessary goods vehicle journeys, such as refuse collection and home deliveries, and the needs of the emergency services, particularly the fire brigade.
Prohibited right and left turns can be applied to junctions where the physical arrangement of the road network or the surrounding environment prevents the manoeuvre from being undertaken in a safe manner.
(Including ‘Unsuitable for Heavy Goods Vehicles/Wide Vehicles/Long Vehicles/Articulated Vehicles’)
This type of sign can be used to discourage specified vehicles from using certain routes where a suitable alternative route exists.