When planning your event you have a legislated duty of care to ensure safe management of traffic generated by the event and other people impacted (such as event attendees, local businesses or residents etc). This includes all road users.
If your event has the potential to affect traffic or transport, you will have to develop a Traffic Management Plan (TMP) to manage these risks. Your TMP will need to include specific Traffic Control Plan/s (TCP) if you are requesting a change in regulatory signage or a road closure (including part of a road, or the whole road).
Common events that require TMP/TCP are marathons, fun runs, cycling events, parades, marches and street market days. However larger events that draw large numbers of people and don’t necessarily operate on a road will also need to consider putting a TMP/TCP in place to coordinate the safe movement of traffic and pedestrians.
TIP: When developing your TMP / TCP make sure you factor in your event set up and pack down periods too (large vehicles setting up event infrastructure have the potential to affect traffic).
The information below will explain the different requirements and will assist you in developing the relevant plans for your event.
Traffic Management Plan (TMP)
A typical TMP will include (but not limited to) the following topics:
- Description of the proposed event (including dates, times, locations, anticipated crowd size) and effected lanes/roads
- Safety of participants and onlookers
- Identification and assessment of traffic impacts of the proposed event
- Detail the traffic management measures in place to reduce the impacts of the event
- Assessment of public transport services affected
- Details of provisions made for emergency vehicles, heavy vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and the non-event public
- A detailed site map showing event layout and all entry (ingress/egress) points
- Details of parking and alternative methods of accessing event site
- Safe access for all road users
- Assessment of effect of proposed traffic management measures on traffic movements in adjoining streets
- Proposed public/tenant notification process (if required)
- Access for people with disabilities
A Traffic Management Plan template can be found on the RMS Live Traffic website
Traffic Control Plan (TCP)
A Traffic Control Plan (TCP) describes the use of traffic control devices such as signs and barriers. Depending on the TMP, you may also require one or many Traffic Control Plans. TCPs need to be prepared by a person accredited by the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) such as a Traffic Control contractor. If you are holding an annual event, the plan needs to be reviewed and show current accreditation details every year.
Your TCP should detail the regulatory signage and traffic control required to ensure the safety of all road users, and the protection of pedestrians, bystanders and event attendees.
The TCP shows (in a map and illustrated format) how traffic is to be safely separated from people at the event and associated areas. Only RMS accredited Traffic Controllers can direct traffic and must be employed to implement the TCP.
Local Traffic Committee
The Local Traffic Committee comprises 4 formal members and other advisory members. The formal members are representatives from Coffs Harbour City Council, the local State Member of Parliament or their nominee, NSW Police, and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).
You are required to obtain approval from Council for your event Traffic Management Plan and Traffic Control Plan under the requirements of RMS. The Local Traffic Committee are a technical review committee that assesses the TMP’s/TCP’s and makes recommendations to the Council’s Elected Members for approval, or provide you with further advice or considerations if required.
NOTE: The Local Traffic Committee meets every second month, so you will need to contact Council at least 4 months before the date of the event, otherwise you will risk not having your TMP approved before the event. Be prepared and get in early so that you have time to implement any changes required
An event is considered a public assembly. Every public assembly requires approval from NSW Police. You will need to complete a Form 1 – Notice of Intention to Hold a Public Assembly which can be found on NSW Police website.
The RMS has created a Guide To Traffic And Transport For Special Events. According to The Guide, the level of detail required for a Traffic Management Plan varies depending on the Class of Event:
Is an event that impacts major traffic and transport systems, and disrupts the non-event community over a wide area. For example an event that reduces the capacity of the main highway through a country town or a bicycle race that involves the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
For a Class 1 event it is recommended all relevant stakeholders have been informed, and approvals sought at least 4 months prior to your event.
Impacts local traffic and transport systems but does not impact major traffic and transport systems, and disrupts the non-event community in the area around the event, but not over a wide area. For example an event that blocks off the main street of a town or shopping centre but does not impact a principal transport route or a highway.
For a Class 2 event it is recommended all relevant stakeholders have been informed, and approvals sought at least 3 months prior to your event.
Does not impact local or major traffic and transport systems, and disrupts the non-event community in the immediate area only. For example an on-street neighbourhood Christmas party.
For a Class 3 event it is recommended all relevant stakeholders have been informed, and approvals sought at least 2 months prior to your event.
Is intended for small on street events and requires Police consent only. For example a small ANZAC Day march in a country town.
For a Class 4 event it is recommended all relevant stakeholders have been informed, and approvals sought at least 1 month prior to your event.
For further information, on the different Event Classes, and to access a Traffic Management Plan Template, visit the RMS Live Traffic Website
Road Occupancy License (ROL):
Changes to Traffic Conditions on State classified roads (such as the Pacific Highway) will require an RMS Road Occupancy License, which can be obtained via the RMS website
It is important to provide adequate parking for your event either at the venue, on the immediate event site, or in the close vicinity. You may wish to consider running a shuttle bus from off-site parking areas or central locations in the CBD. Always ensure you make provision for suitable parking for the elderly and people with disabilities as close to the event as possible.
Please note that only certified traffic controllers are allowed to direct traffic.
Some other tips that can help reduce event parking congestion:
- Encouraging patrons to walk to the venue through your event promotion.
- Encouraging patrons to ride to the venue by providing secure bicycle storage.
- Advertising nearby parking availability and alternate ways to get from there to the venue (walking paths, bus etc.).
Public / Community Transport
Working with local public transport providers can help increase the accessibility of your event. It will also help reduce congestion in and around the area of your event, reduce parking concerns, and provides options for the community who cannot drive.
Partnering with local hospitality establishments who run courtesy buses to and from their premises is also a good way to involve local businesses with your event. While they may be able to provide a service for your event, there is also a cross promotional opportunity for their business.
Variable Message Signs
Variable Message Signs (VMS) may be used to notify road users of changes to traffic conditions due to events. They must not be used to advertise the event. RMS has rules around suitable placement of VMS to ensure the safety of road users and the general public. Whether on Public or Private Property contact Council for further information.