What is a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO)?
Traffic Regulation Order (TRO)
What is a TRO?
TROs are legal documents that restrict or prohibit the use of the highway network, in line with The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.
They help us to manage the highway network for all road users, including pedestrians and they aim to improve road safety and access to facilities.
A TRO can only be proposed for the reasons set out in the legislation and a scheme can only be proposed if the regulations allow it to be signed and lined accordingly.
Examples of schemes that require a TRO include:
- Speed limits
- On-street parking restrictions
- Weight limits
- One-way streets and banned turns
- Prohibition of Driving
Funding and contributions
Members can use their Highways Local allocation on carriageway and footway maintenance or assisting communities with improvement schemes requiring TROs.
Improvement schemes can cost between £10,000 and £15,000 to deliver and schemes including additional traffic calming or physical site changes will cost considerably more. An example of this would be a speed limit that includes road humps or a permit parking zone.
The most successful schemes are those where local communities are actively involved, and we encourage communities to pursue improvement schemes through the Big Community Offer: 'Highways - Your Way' scheme (match funding option). Members can top up any awarded funds through Highways Local contributions, so that the full aspirations of a scheme can be achieved.
Community and member contributions to TRO schemes will increase the number of TROs we are able to deliver. The TRO Funding Streams table summarises all funding streams. Please click here for details.
Priority assessment process
TROs are funded through a variety of different capital and revenue streams, this means that there is not just one process to assess the feasibility or priority of each TRO.
Officers must apply a strict priority assessment process to fairly determine which TROs will be progressed based on the countywide programme for all highways work.
Design can be completed through the county’s professional services contract (Atkins) or through the GCC in- house dedicated TRO team. Once the TRO is complete, the works on the ground can be carried via the GCC term maintenance contract (Ringway).
The priority assessment of TROs is based on a number of factors, including the following:
- National policy / guidance note (e.g. setting speed limits)
- Safety (collision reduction and speeding)
- Benefits to public transport and cycling
- Routes to school and community facilities
- Air quality, congestion and environmental benefits
- Level of community buy in to the scheme including financial contribution
- Level of contribution from Member's Highways Local allocation
Once a scheme has been considered against the points above and a priority established, the first set of proposals can be drafted for consultation. Once all funding has been secured and all relevant authorised sign off has been agreed.
The TRO process
TROs follow a statutory process and are a legal document. Communities are often surprised at the length of time it can take to progress a scheme. It’s the authority's responsibility to make sure a fair process is undertaken in determining a TRO, and key to that process is robust consultation.
TRO consultations, combined with statutory processes can mean a typical and often simple TRO can take between 12 and 18 months to deliver. Complex or contentious TROs can take longer.
A typical TRO process includes the following:
- Feasibility and priority assessment consideration
- Proposed scheme design
- Informal consultation (21 days minimum for comments to be received)
- Consideration of all comments received
- Amendments and preparation for statutory processes
- Statutory consultation (21 days minimum for comments to be received)
- Consideration of all comments received
- Amendments and preparation for public consultation
- Draft all relevant legal documentation ready for formal advertising of the scheme in the media and on the GCC website.
- Formal consultation (21 days minimum for comments to be received)
- Consideration of objections (and attempts to resolve them)
- Detailed report or TRO Committed (if unresolved objections)
- Making of the TRO including sealing
- Implementation of the TRO (making physical changes on site)
Gloucestershire follows national best practice by carrying out 'pre consultation' on TROs, where appropriate. This process, referred to as informal consultation, often involves initial letter drops or community events where the initial thoughts on the impact of the TRO can be discussed. Pre consultations are often good at ensuring the scheme proposed is appropriate whilst gathering the views of the locals and gauging the level of support for a scheme. Issues can be addressed in advance of the statutory, formal, process.
Due to the TRO process being reliant on feedback at each stage of consultation, the number and nature of correspondence received at each stage will depend on how the scheme is likely to progress. For example, if a scheme results in numerous complex objections the TRO process will take longer and cost more money due to resource required to consider and respond to the comments.
Consultation is key to achieve community buy-in and for local input to the design process. It can lead us to modify, redesign or even abandon our proposals.
GCC are legally obliged to consult with certain stakeholders. Statutory consultees will normally include, but are not limited to:
- Police, Fire and Ambulance Services
- District, Town and Parish Councils
- Road Haulage Association, Freight Transport Association
- Residents or Resident Groups
- Chambers of Commerce
- Action Groups (Mobility, Cycling, Bus Operators, Taxi, CPRE)
The formal consultation stage of a TRO is open for all to comment on. The proposed scheme will be advertised in the local press, uploaded to the GCC website and can be found on deposit at Shire Hall and a locally situated public council building when necessary. Schemes draw many views from the community. In the case of TROs there is an advertisement period in which representations can be formally lodged. All comments must be duly considered before a TRO can be made operational and the scheme implemented on site. If significant changes are required following formal consultation then the amendments will need to be re-consulted upon and a further minimum of 21 days given for further comments.
Implementation and enforcement
Once the legal process is complete the scheme can be built using our contractor, Ringway. The lines and signs of a scheme must comply with the relevant regulations.
Once a scheme is complete enforcement is carried out by the county council for parking restriction under their powers stated in the Traffic Management Act 2004. The police have the obligation and power to enforce all moving traffic offences, i.e. speed limits, banned turns, weight limits, prohibition of driving restrictions.
Frequently Asked Questions
I want a TRO, how do I request one?
If you are requesting a TRO such as a permit scheme then we will need evidence that there is significant support within a community for a zone approach. GCC do have a permit parking policy that must be considered to establish if the request is eligible for such a scheme. The best way to evidence significant area wide support for such as request would be via your local County Councillor or a residents association. Search for Find Your Councillor in the search box. It is easier for GCC to liaise with a resident group who act on behalf of the locals in the area.
If you are requesting a TRO for any other parking restriction or moving traffic prohibition (I.e. speed limit, weight limit etc) then this request can go through your Local Highway Manager (LHM). Please use the Report It Tool for any other highways related matters.
Who can I contact if I would like further information on TROs?
You can contact your LHM, as stated above or you can email the TRO team at firstname.lastname@example.org. The team will be pleased to assist in answering any queries.
How are objections resolved?
Representations received during the advertisement period can be either in support or objection to the proposals. Objections can be overcome through:
- Discussions with the objector so that the objection is withdrawn - may involve design modifications and re-advertising the TRO
- Overruled if the objection is deemed as 'minor' via council's Delegated Powers and where the scheme is deemed to be in the interests of the wider community or for safety reasons.
- Public discussion by the TRO Committee of Members who make a recommendation to the Council's Commissioning Director, who makes a final decision to proceed with, modify or abandon the TRO.
Is there a suspension on requesting new TROs?
As the county council is a local authority that is governed by political members that are voted in by their local constituents, at times of local election or general elections some schemes may be placed on hold while this is going on. This period of time is known as Purdah. It may not be possible to start legal proceedings for certain TROs during this period.
Please note that all scheme requests need to be assessed on their feasibility and priority on a case by case basis.
Can a TRO be requested by a community group through 'Highways - Your Way' ?
Yes - if the scheme satisfies the feasibility and priority assessment process and complies with National / Council Policy and guidance notes.
How can I find out about progress?
A progress report on all live schemes can be found on Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) and Traffic Schemes page and is updated on a monthly basis. Members can speak direct with the relevant TRO officer, once appointed.
Are there alternative ways to address speeding other than a TRO?
Yes - there are lots of options and tried ideas in the 'Community Approaches to Road Safety (CARS)' which has a useful 'speed limit tool kit'. For more information please click here. For further information on Road Safety matters please click here.