Permanent and Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders
A Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is a legal document that must be made by the Local Authority under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 in order to regulate or restrict the public highway in any way. A TRO can restrict the use of the public highway in many ways, either permanently, experimentally or temporarily. The most common ways are closing the road, speed restrictions, weight/width/height restrictions, prohibiting certain movements, or restricting parking in some way. There are strict procedures that must be followed in order to make a permanent, experimental or temporary Traffic Regulation Order. Further information on temporary TROs can be found on our Temporarily Closing the Public Highway page.
All permanent TROs must:
Be concise. The Local Authority must put forward a clear and concise proposal. This will include what exactly is being proposed, where and why. This will be in the form of both a worded statement of reasons and a visual drawing or plan showing the extent of the proposed changes.
Go through public consultation. Every TRO is subject to a 21-day public consultation. This is where we invite members of the public and interested organisations to review the proposal documents and comment on them. Comments can be in support of or object to the changes we propose to make. All of our consultations are published on our Consultation Hub where you can also view past consultations. Individual comments are not published.
Be advertised locally. We must also advertise our intent to make a TRO in the local paper - either the Newbury Weekly News or the Reading Chronicle. The advert must outline what is being proposed, where readers can find further information and how (and when) they can make comments.
Once the public consultation has closed, we will collate and review all of the responses. If significant objections are received, then we will write a report outlining the scheme to date, summarising all of the responses for the Individual Member to consider and decide the best way forward.
If no significant objections are received (or it's decided to proceed with the proposals), then we will arrange for the works to take place on site to coincide with the date the legal order comes into force.
All in all this process can take upwards of 12 months, or even longer for parking amendments as the smaller tweaks tend to be batched together into larger schemes. Requests for permanent changes to speed limits also have to be approved by our Speed Limit Task Group before they can begin the TRO process. Further information on how we set speed limits can be found on our Speed Management page.
Experimental orders aren't as common but still have to go through the same process just in a different order. For an ETRO, the legal order is advertised, made and brought into force to coincide with the restrictions being implemented on site straight away. An ETRO can only be in force for up to 18 months. The first six months should be used for the public to comment on how the scheme is working, or not. The Local Authority then has the following 12 months to review all of the comments, decide how to proceed and make the permanent order if the public support outweighs the objections during the consultation. The benefit of an ETRO is that it gives the community the opportunity to experience the proposed restrictions rather than asking them to comment on something that is theoretical without the commitment of it necessarily being permanent.