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Special event road closures

Who can legally close the road?

This only applies to highways maintained at public expense and public rights of way.

The council can authorise a road to be closed under the Town Police Clauses Act to allow the prevention of obstruction of the streets within the limits of the “special act”, in all times of public procession, rejoicing or illuminations and in any case when the streets are thronged or liable to be obstructed”

As such, examples of the type of events that could be issued with a Town Police Clauses Act road closure are:

  • Parades and processions
  • Christmas light illuminations
  • Celebrations of marked events i.e. Bonfire Night, May Day, Christmas

The Council can authorise a road to be closed under this Section of the 1984 Act to allow a prohibition or restriction on roads in connection with certain events. Examples of the type of events that could be covered by this Act are:
•Sporting events.
•Social event or entertainment to be held on a road.


Anyone can apply for a road closure for a special or community event. However, Wiltshire Council reserves the right to refuse a road closure and may also require that you apply for a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order instead of a Town Police Clauses Act closure.

This Guidance does not cover temporary traffic regulation orders for street works.


If you plan to hold an event which you consider could require a road closure, please contact the highways department who will put you in contact with an appropriate representative of the council. We will help with advice on what you can and cannot do and with completing the application form, if necessary.


A minimum of eight weeks notice is required prior to the event.


Town Police Clauses Act 1847. 

Wiltshire Council will not normally charge for events organised by a charitable or local community organisation. The council reserves the right to make a charge of up to £150 where a commercial organisation is advantaged by a proposed street closure.

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 S.16A (Special Events). 

A fixed fee of £1402 to cover the processing and advertising of the legal order. This fee is payable in advance

Charges will be subject to periodic review.


Event Organisers must read the Guide for Event Organisers prior to completing the application form.

The application should be submitted along with all required documentation, to the Traffic Orders Team.


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Last updated: 11 July 2019 | Last reviewed: 1 July 2019