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Temporary traffic restrictions for special events on the highway

A special event is an event which is larger than a street party, such as a carnival or food festival.

Apply for a road restriction for a special event

You must apply at least 13 weeks before the event is due to take place

Guidance for event organisers

You should read the guidance for event organisers:

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Terms and conditions of approval

Applicants or the nominated person in overall charge of the event:

  1. must familiarise themselves with our guidance information
  2. declare that the section(s) of highway need to be restricted in order to hold a public event which:
    1. cannot suitably be held in any location other than the highway, and
    2. cannot be held whilst maintaining normal traffic flow, safely
  3. must include a valid insurance certificate on application
  4. must include a detailed traffic signing plan on application
  5. may incur a charge for the processing of an application, and without payment in full, a licence to restrict the highway may be withheld. The final decision on the charge applied for the processing of any application will be determined by Dorset Council
  6. must consult and engage with those likely to be affected by any traffic restriction and use the consultation document, detail those parties contacted and the feedback given (both positive and negative)
  7. must arrange for the provision of all approved traffic signing and ongoing maintenance of said signs on all parts of the highway subject to temporary restrictions and any agreed diversions
  8. must arrange for advance notice of road closures. Normal expectations is for this advance notice to be made available two weeks in advance of the event by means of approved traffic signs but must also include erecting the public notice issued by Dorset Council on posts and columns on the affected streets
  9. are responsible for returning the highway to the condition that it was in prior to the holding of the event
  10. accept that Dorset Council can, at any time, even after initial approval, instruct amendments to proposed restrictions and timings, withhold or revoke a previously agreed licence to restrict the highway in the following circumstances:
    1. the conditions of the licence have not been met (including documentation not being received)
    2. in the interests of co-ordination of other events and/or roadworks on the public highway
    3. to minimise disruption to traffic and maintain safety of the public highway
  11. will adhere to all other responsibilities/duties required by Dorset Council

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Event organisers must consult with all stakeholders that would be affected by the restriction.

Download a consultation exercise document

The list of consultees should include:

Any substantial objections should be resolved by the applicant. Should an applicant be unable to resolve any disputes with mitigation, an application is not likely to be approved.

Applicants must provide an emergency contact name and phone number which must be available 24/7.

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Use of personal data

Please read our privacy notice and more information about how we comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

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The charges vary depending on the scale and type of the event. The number of people involved refers to the total staff and estimated audience/visitor numbers.

There is no charge applied for road closures for services of Remembrance during the month of November.

These charges are indicative and the final decision on the charge applied to any application will be determined by Dorset Council based on a number of factors deemed to be suitable at the time of processing.

Type of eventSmall event (less than 499 people involved)Minor event (500 to 999 people involved)Significant event (1000 to 4999 people involved)Major event (more than 5000 people involved)
Commercial profit making £200 £275 £350


Non-profit making £75 £140 £175 £225
Charitable or ceremonial £25 £75



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