Police step back from traffic regulation

The Force has confirmed its position in plans lodged with the Scottish Police Authority.
The Force has confirmed its position in plans lodged with the Scottish Police Authority.

Police will no longer regulate traffic at pre-planned events where no Temporary Traffic Regulation Order is in place

Police Scotland has written to Scotland’s Local Authorities to advise that officers will no longer regulate traffic at events which have not been granted a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO).

This relates to events requiring road closures and traffic management, including religious parades and peaceful demonstrations.

Under current legislation, police officers have the power to regulate traffic while dealing with emergencies or where crime is being committed.

It does not enable officers to regulate traffic for pre-planned events, which rests with the local roads authorities – local governments and Scottish Government with regards trunk roads.

The Force has confirmed its position in plans lodged with the Scottish Police Authority.

Power to grant a TTRO lies with the local roads authority through the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (both Sections 16A and Section 14).

In order to facilitate an event which impacts on traffic management, Police Scotland will recommend that organisers work with the local roads authority to put the necessary TTRO and appropriate traffic management plans in place.

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: “Local policing is at the heart of Police Scotland, as is our focus of keeping people safe. However, existing legislation does not contain powers to enable police to regulate traffic for pre-planned events.

“Police officers have previously assisted organisers of such events by closing off roads, controlling traffic and ensuring public safety on an informal basis but, crucially, without lawful authority.

“We will continue to be fully supportive of future community events but must support and assist organisers within the confines of legislation."