The following Local Government guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (RTRA 1984), as amended, the traffic authorities that may control road traffic on highways are:
the Secretary of State for Transport—on highways where they are the highway authority, ie motorways and trunk roads in England; the Secretary of State operates much of this traffic function through Highways England (formerly the Highways Agency)
the Welsh Ministers—on motorways and trunk roads in Wales; the Welsh Ministers operate many of their traffic functions through the South Wales Trunk Road Agent and other agents
the Mayor of London acting through Transport for London—on 'GLA Roads' (Greater London Authority)
the London Borough Councils—on all other roads in London
county councils and metropolitan district councils—on roads outside London not controlled by the Department for Transport (DfT) or by the Welsh Ministers
National Park Authorities—on minor highways in National Parks
The duty of a traffic authority is to secure the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of vehicular and other traffic (including pedestrians) and the provision of suitable and adequate parking facilities on and off the highway. Clearly, the traffic cannot be both expeditious and totally safe, so there is a compromise to be made. The way in which a traffic authority fulfils this general duty is primarily by making traffic orders under RTRA 1984, Sch 9,
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