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Guide to closing a road for a street party or event

Guide to closing a road for a street party or event

1. Traditional street party

A traditional street party has:

  • simple tables and chairs on one road
  • less than 500 people attending
  • no sale of alcohol 
  • no entertainment like live music or performances 

You’ll need a Street Party Road Closure Order and no other licence. You won't be charged for it.

Allow at least six weeks to apply for the road closure.

2. Large street party

A larger street party has one or more of the following:

  • less than 500 people attending
  • sale of alcohol
  • entertainment like live music or performances

You’ll need a:

You won’t be charged for a Street Party Road Closure Order.

Allow at least six weeks to apply for the Street Party Road Closure Order and the Temporary Event Notice.

3. Street event

A street event has one or more of the following:

  • more than one road closed
  • more than 500 people attending. If more than 5000 are attending, you should give us 8 months’ notice. If more than 20,000 are attending, you should give us 12 months’ notice.
  • sale of alcohol
  • entertainment like live music or performances
  • items like portable toilets, generators, staging, funfair rides, catering, trade stalls and lighting on site

You’ll need either a:

  • Street Party Road Closure Order, or
  • Section 16 application form

Street Party Road Closure Order

You’ll need a Street Party Road Closure Order if your event:

  • has less than an estimated 1000 people attending
  • doesn’t involve closing a traffic sensitive road

A Street Party Road Closure Order is free.

Section 16

You’ll need a Section 16 if your event is a large street event and involves the closure of a traffic sensitive road or if you want to close more than one road.

A Section 16 costs £531. There’s an extra charge of £530 if it: 

  • involves multiple roads
  • is city-wide
  • is likely to require additional Council resources, such as attendance by Network Management Officer, due to the nature of the event

Contact traffic@bristol.gov.uk if you’re not sure the road you want to close is likely to have a strong impact on traffic. 

In both cases you’ll also need:

You should allow:

  • six weeks to apply for the road closure and premises license
  • three months to apply for the site permission and the Section 16 licence

We won’t accept late applications.

4. Apply for a Road Closure Order

When you apply you’ll need to:

  • upload a street closure plan, such as a screenshot or a sketch map
  • let us know what signs and barriers you’ll have in place to make sure your road closure is safe
  • attach a copy of your letter to residents, telling them about the road closure

Apply for a road closure

5. Apply for a Section 16

Before you apply you’ll need to:

  • get a valid Public Liability Insurance certificate covering the dates of your event
  • send a letter to all properties affected, telling them about the road closure

During your application you’ll need to upload a:

  • a full list of all the roads you want to close with the corresponding dates and times
  • street closure plan, such as a screenshot or a sketch map
  • traffic management document
  • copy of your letter to residents, telling them about the road closure
  • list of all the properties your letter was sent to
  • copy of your Public Liability Insurance certificate

Make sure you have all your documents ready as you won’t be able to save your form once you start.

Apply for a Section 16

Contact traffic@bristol.gov.uk if you have questions about filling in a Section 16 form.

6. What we do after we get your application

After we receive your application form, we'll:

  • talk to people who may be affected by the road closure
  • let the Police, emergency services and bus operators know about the road closure
  • write a legal Order for you to display on the street before your event
  • give you advice on how to manage traffic if needed

You can track the progress of a street party application on our Street parties and events report. The most recent applications are at the bottom of the document.

We'll contact you if there are any problems with your application. If approved, you can expect to receive your legal closure Order seven to ten days before the event. 

7. Marches, processions and races

You won’t need a road closure or any other licence if your event is moving, such as a march, procession or race.

Your event can be managed safely with marshals.

Email traffic@bristol.gov.uk at least four weeks before the event.

You’ll need to tell us:

  • date and times
  • roads affected
  • nature of the event
  • proposed traffic management measures
  • contact name and numbers of the organiser
We’ll contact you after we’ve received you’re application to let you know what you need to do next.

8. Road closure and diverted traffic signs

To close your road safely, you’ll need:

  • road closed signs at each point of the road closure 
  • road ahead closed signs at the junction before, if only part of a road is closed
  • a small barrier of cones to show where the road is closed 

You'll need diversion signs if you're closing more than a small local road:

  • at the start of where traffic needs to be diverted and at the end of the diversion
  • diverted traffic signs at each significant junction along the route of the diversion

Streets Alive and Playing Out can also give you advice on how to get road closure signs. You should be able to get signs and cones free from your local community centre. You can also check our list of suppliers.