Under section 64 of the New Roads and Street Works Act, the council may designate certain streets (or parts of streets) as traffic sensitive.

View traffic sensitive streets on a map 

It is a designation that allows highly trafficked highways to be identified as requiring works promoters to give greater advanced warning of proposed works or activities. Depending on circumstances, designation may apply to the carriageway only, to a footway or pedestrian area only, or to any part of a length of street.

Designations may only apply to certain times of day, days of the week, or days of the year.

This designation highlights that works or activities in these situations are likely to be particularly disruptive to other road users, but it does not necessarily prevent occupation during traffic sensitive times. Once a designation is made it applies to all works and activities taking place in the street.

As an incentive to carry out works at less disruptive times, works promoters can benefit from discounted permit fees by completing works on traffic sensitive streets entirely outside of traffic sensitive times.


A street needs to meet at least one of the following criteria to be designated traffic sensitive:

  1. the street is one on which at any time the street authority estimate traffic flow to be greater than 500 vehicles per hour per lane of carriageway, excluding bus or cycle lanes

  2. the street is a single carriageway two-way road, the carriageway of which is less than 6.5 meters wide, having a total traffic flow of not less than 600 vehicles per hour

  3. the street falls within a congestion charge area*

  4. traffic flow contains more than 25% heavy commercial vehicles*

  5. the street carries in both directions more than eight buses per hour

  6. the street is designated for pre-salting by the street authority as part of its programme of winter maintenance

  7. the street is within 100 meters of a critical signalised junction. Gyratory or roundabout system

  8. the street, or part of that street, that has a pedestrian flow rate at any time of at least 1300 persons per hour per metre width of footway*

  9. the street is on a tourist route or within an area where international, national, or significant major local events take place

 *it is recognised that there are no streets in Dorset that meet criteria 3, 4 and 8.

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