Q&As

Can a traffic regulation order be applied to a private road?

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Produced in partnership with Adam Heppinstall of Henderson Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 14/08/2017

The following Local Government Q&A produced in partnership with Adam Heppinstall of Henderson Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a traffic regulation order be applied to a private road?

The traffic authority for a road outside of Greater London may make a traffic regulation order (TRO). See section 1 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (RTRA 1984). Road is defined by RTRA 1984, s 142 (in England and Wales) as any length of highway or any other road to which the public has access, and includes bridges over which a road passes. For further information on the process of obtaining TRO, see Practice Note: Road traffic—order procedure and notices.

The road must be one to which the public has actual and legal access (Dunmill v DPP). A private road which is only used by residents who live thereon and their visitors is not a road to which ‘the public has access’ (Deacon v AT (A Minor) [1976] RTR 244 (not reported by LexisNexis®).

As was said in Harrison v Hill 1932 SC (J) 13 (not reported by LexisNexis®) per Lord Clyde:

‘I think that, when the statute speaks of “the public” in this connexion, what is meant is the public generally, and not th

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