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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 71053
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi Not really sure where I should direct this, but Ill start

This answer was rated:

Not really sure where I should direct this, but I'll start here.

I live in Sheffield, and, as you may know, some bike race called Tour de France is coming through on July 6th.
The route comes past our estate, and every road in and out will be closed for up to 18 hours. Unlike a lot of areas we have no alternative routes - roughly 1000 homes will be entirely cut off.

Because of this I am unable to go to work, other people can't go out or the day, visit relatives etc, and even reaching the hospital is impossible (expect by ambulance - hardly the right way for something like a broken arm!)

What I want to know is the legality of this. In my mind I have a right to use the roads which I pay for, even if it is limited use with longer journeys (some people living just outside the blockade need to travel 25 miles just to get 3 miles away). I feel that the council are acting illegally by trapping us in for such a length of time.
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

This is covered by S16 A RTRA 1984 here

which allows for road closures for sporting events.

I'm afraid this would seem to be lawful under that legislation. The authority just needs to be satisfied that the event could not be held otherwise than on road and clearly it could not.

I'm very sorry if this is bad news.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I could grudgingly accept road closures that cause massive detours, but road closures that stop 2000 people getting out for the WHOLE day? I can't go to work, others can't go visiting, and what if someone needed to go to A&E (non ambulance case)?

We have an old folks home where visitors can't get to - this is screwing up everyone.

Mother in law was going to visit whilst I was at work, council say she needs to park 3/4 mile away and walk. SHE'S 89 AND STRUGGLES TO CROSS A ROAD!

If somebody needed to go to hospital they could always get the air ambulance in.

In any event, people can get about locally. Its just that there is a detour.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Air ambulance for a broken wrist etc? I think they'd go nuts. We should be able to drive such a patient to the hospital ourselves.


And we're not looking at a detour, we're looking at a total blockade. 1000 houses with no access AT ALL off the estate. The bike race route blocks EVERY road off the estate.

Well, yes but then a broken wrist is not an emergency.

It is always possible to go to a different hospital.

In any event, this are hypothetical matters that could arise or could not and when weighed against a European event that unites the nation Im afraid that a court is not going to say they are good reasons to obstruct.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

There is no other hospital - we're on a 4 sq mile estate with no access/egress, and I wouldn't expect someone with a broken wrist to wait up to 18 hours before treatment.


We can't even get to local supermarket, church, - ANYWHERE


We have no alternative routes, we are FENCED IN.


I'm not talking obstruction, I'm talking giving us the right of access/egress. Would you want to be trapped in your area for 18 hours? People can't do ANYTHING

I am very sorry about your situation but the law clearly gives them the power to do this unfortunately.

I wish I could say something else but I cannot.
Jo C. and other Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi again


I've looked at the section you referred to, and found the following:


(8) When considering the making of an order under this section, an authority shall have regard to the safety and convenience of alternative routes suitable for the traffic which will be affected by the order.


So far as I'm aware they have not considered alternative routes, in that we do not have any! Also, how should such order be advertised? We have had no notification whatsoever.




I'm really very sorry but I cannot agree that they have not had regard to alternative routes. There are alternative routes and the event lasts less than 1 day.

I cannot open the legislation on my ipad but I cannot recall any duty to advertise.

This is a European wide sporting event that overrides the short time disadvantage to local residents
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I need to confirm ... there are NO alternative routes. We have more than 1000 homes in a 3 or 4 square mile area, and those residents have NO route out of the 3 or 4 square mile area for up to 18 hours. That means that between 2,000 and 3,000 residents cannot go about their normal lives. Even outside the blockade there will be no public transport, so we need vehicular access more than ever.


2-3,000 people cannot just put their lives on hold - there are many that work on Sundays who can't go, many who need to visit people who can't go.

The council have left us no alternative means of going anywhere ... it's almost like enforced imprisonment.




Yes, I understand that and I know you haven't enjoyed this experience but its one day and there are alternative routes on foot. The Council do not have to allow you access by motorcar. Many people do not own a motorcar at all and I'm afraid I cannot agree that one day without access to a car is onerous compared with a European wide event.