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Guidance on temporary event direction signs

Approval will be given to responsible organisers or agents of events, to carry out their own temporary direction signing, subject to the following criteria:


Temporary direction signs for local events will be permitted only if large flows of vehicles are likely to be generated and this causes congestion or safety problems. Temporary signs will not be permitted for any event where it is considered that adequate permanent direction signs are provided. For events such as weddings and official openings, which have an invited clientele, organisers will be expected to circulate directions to the venue with the invitation and not to apply for temporary signing.

Organisers will consider car parking arrangements where appropriate and will agree access points with the highway authority. The Police do not need to be consulted where a small local event is involved, but if there is any doubt consultations will take place between the Police, highway authority and other interested parties in advance of the formal application. The applicant will start these consultations.

Signing for events will be kept to an absolute minimum and display restricted to not more than 2 days before an event, with removal by the organisers or their agents immediately afterwards.

Signs will only be placed in the immediate vicinity of the function, providing directions from the nearest through route shown on motoring maps. This road may not be a classified road. For events next to a major road, advance signs will be confined to a stretch between appropriate junctions. Exceptions to this are major or national events where the Police and the Highway Authority consider that temporary signing is required on an area basis.

The person(s) responsible for the erection of the temporary signs will indemnify the Highway Authority against any liability, loss, damage or proceedings arising from the erection of the signs. It is suggested that organisers make use of facilities provided by the motoring organisations wherever possible, which will make sure of compliance with the various regulations and conditions.

The Highway Authority reserves the right to move or remove unapproved signs as it considers necessary and recoup the total cost, including any necessary storage, from the organisers of the event.


Make an application using the Apply for a licence to place temporary directional signs application form.

Please apply at least one month before the event with the following information:

  • location, date, duration and type of event
  • number of persons and vehicles likely to attend
  • car parking arrangements
  • 2 copies of a schedule of signs showing locations, sizes, legends and directions
  • the length of time signs will be on site

When you receive provisional agreement to the proposals, with modifications if necessary, please provide evidence indemnifying the Highway Authority from any liability, loss, damage or proceedings arising from the temporary signs.

Motoring organisations are not required to give indemnity on each occasion.

When an application has been considered, the organisers or their agents will be notified in writing of the decision of the Highway Authority.


As a rule, temporary signs will refer only to the name of the event, avoiding any reference to dates or commercial advertising. In difficult cases an abbreviated form of the name of the sponsoring body may be approved.

The following sign details conform to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 and any subsequent amendments.

The sign will be rectangular or with one end pointed and will not exceed 750 x 450mm. Letter, numerals, arrows, will be:

  • black on a background of yellow
  • white on a background of blue

Signs may be erected on existing signpost(s) or lamp columns but must not be erected on any traffic signal poles.

They should not interfere in any way or obstruct any existing street signs, traffic signal poles or visibility splays at junctions and should not be placed closer than 0.5 metres from the edge of the carriageway or less than 2.1 metres above the footway level.

Where signs are to be placed on a cycleway, they must be erected not less than 2.4 metres above the cycleway or carriageway level. Any damage to Highway Authority property must be made good at the organisers' expense.

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