Roadworks and Closed Roads
Roadworks in Oxford are the responsibility of Oxfordshire County Council.
Local information on disruption to roads in the county is provided on Oxfordshire County Council's Roadworks Online website.
Applying for a Road Closure
Ownership of the roads in Oxford is split between Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council.
Legal Powers Available to Close Roads Temporarily For Events
- Oxford City Council is able to close roads under Section 21, Town Police Clauses Act 1847 & Section 24, Oxfordshire Act 1985.
- Oxford County Council are able to close roads under Section 14, Road Traffic & Regulation Act 1984 & Section 16A, Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.
- Thames Valley Police have extensive powers to close roads, for example Section 22C, Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 that permits roads to be closed to reduce the likelihood of danger from terrorism and Section 67 that can be used to effect road closures in cases of emergency in consequence of extraordinary circumstances.
Who Can Apply for a Temporary Road Closure
Request to close roads for events come from the following sources:-
- Individuals (for street parties): Requests from individuals are normally for small scale events relating to residential roads.
- Oxfordshire County Council: These tend to be applications the County Council has received that it considers it doesn't have powers to progress.
- Organisations: These requests are generally for larger events, for example the Cowley Road Carnival (although that is the largest such event for which we need to close roads).
- Oxford City Council: We in effect apply to ourselves for the closure of roads for Remembrance Sunday, Christmas festivities, St Giles' Fair, etc.
As you can see, a Road Closure request is normally associated with an Event. The event will need to be applied for through our Events Officer, Oxford City Council, Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate's, Oxford, OX1 1BX. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01865 252407.
How to Apply for a Temporary Road Closure
Applications for road closures to hold an event need to be made on the application form below. If you are intending to hold a Street Party and you need a road closed, please use the application form on our Street Parties page.
Road Closure Application Form - Event (185kB PDF)
For information about requesting a road closure of an Oxfordshire County Council owned road, visit the Requesting a Road Closure page of their website.
Applications must be received by the Licensing Team no later than six weeks before the closure is required. The six week minimum period is for the Team to carry out consultation, to receive proof of Public Liability insurance, to consider and negotiate upon the event in the light of comments, and to allow time for the application to be taken to the Safety Advisory Group if necessary.
The Licensing Team consult with the following:
- Highway Authority
- Bus Companies (Stagecoach and Oxford Bus) where a bus route is affected
- Fire Service
- Ambulance Service
They ask that the consultees reply within 7 days, and then (if needed) to liaise with the applicant to resolve any issues from the consultation. Some issues may need to be determined at the meeting of the Safety Advisory Group.
Even if the consultation process above throws up no objections, an Order to give effect to a road closure (and thus the event) cannot be progressed unless or until:
- Evidence of Public Liability Insurance is received.
- We now required £10 million worth of cover. We are satisfied that there is no significant objection from road frontages. The applicant carries consultation with. The applicant needs to satisfy us that all frontages have been individually notified and that there is no substantial objection.
The Completed Road Closure Order
Two documents will be produced. One is the Order; the other is the Public Notice.
A copy of the Order and the Public Notice will be sent to the applicant. The applicant will need to make laminated copies of the Public Notice and display them in the street not less than one week before the date of the road closure and to take them down as soon as possible after the event.
You will need to obtain some "ROAD CLOSED" signs and perhaps other signage. Our City Works department may be able to lend these to you or advise where they can be hired from, or they can be bought for about £40 each for future use. You can contact City Works at Marsh Road, Oxford, OX4 2HH or telephone: 01865 252900.
Street parties and community /charitable events were there is no commercial gain are exempt from any fee for a road closure.
All other events require a fee to be paid (as detailed below):
- Events (500 people or more): £300
- Markets / Street Fairs: £250
- Events (less than 500 people): £100
Conditions of a Road Closure
The applicant shall be responsible for compliance with the following requirements of the City Council.
- Each road to be closed shall be clearly defined by means of a 'Road Closed' sign as described below supported by means of a trestle or suitable half barrier in the carriageway.
- Each sign shall read 'ROAD CLOSED' in capitals 6 inches in height, white letters on a red background. For closures of less than one day, paper or card faces posted onto hardboard will be adequate. For longer periods a waterproof sign face is required, e.g. either varnished or gloss paint on hardboard or metal.
- Any trestle or barrier to be placed in the carriageway shall be painted white and adequately weighted to prevent it from being blown over or the sign dislodged from it. Where these are to remain in place during lighting-up times the offside extremity of each barrier/trestle shall be lit by an approved roadworks lamp.
- All signing and other physical obstructions in the highway shall be erected and removed, along with any debris resulting from the event, at the times specified in the application notice. Failure to do so will render the applicant/organisers liable to charge for cleaning the highway or even to prosecution for obstructing the highway.
Criteria and Guidance Notes
- Applications should be submitted to The Licensing Team, Oxford City Council, St Aldate's Chambers, 109 St Aldate's, Oxford, OX1 1DS no later than six weeks before the proposed closure.
- Where the application is from an ad hoc body set up for the purpose of one event rather than an established body, the person submitting the application will be held responsible for any costs arising, eg. clearing up, damage to street furniture or road surfaces etc.
- The applicant will be required to submit, before an Order to close the street can be made, a copy of a Certificate of Insurance indemnifying the City Council against any claims arising from the event. (For this purpose, limited liability of £10,000,000 will generally be acceptable).
- The event shall be organised in such a way that access for pedestrians and essential vehicles can be maintained.
- The organiser/applicant will need to ensure that all frontages (both residential and commercial) of the road to be closed, and of any road(s) that directly adjoin the road to be closed, have been individually notified and have no substantial objection.
- The City Council will only accept closures for street parties on minor residential roads.
- Organisers of events in Broad Street should note that the Council has agreed not, unless there are good reasons for doing so, to close the street to allow events to take place at the beginning or end of terms, during the examination period and on other dates when events are taking place at colleges.