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Placing temporary traffic signals on the road

You need our permission to place temporary traffic signals in the highway.

Eligibility Criteria

Temporary traffic signals apparatus must meet the requirements of The Traffic Signs and Regulations and General Directions 2002 (SI2002 No 3113).

Operators will be expected to show a minimum cover of £5million public liability insurance.

Their personnel must:

  • Be qualified to Sector 12A or 12B as appropriate for roads over 40mph
  • Have completed a suitable accredited training course for roads less that 40mph


Regulation Summary

The Traffic Signs and Regulations and General Directions 2002 (SI2002 No 3113) governs the use of temporary traffic signals in the highway.

You can access a summary and the relevant legislation in the 'External links' below.

Application evaluation process

Applications will be evaluated to ensure that the use of portable traffic signals is not detrimental to the operation of the road network or in terms of road safety.

  • 14 days notice is required for principal and classified roads
  • Seven days notice is required for all other roads
  • 14 days notice is required for multi-phase signals on all roads

The highway authority may choose to vary this period if it is deemed beneficial to the public.

A site meeting may be required to discuss the proposed traffic management layout.

Application fee

There is no charge for this application. There will be a charge if signal design is required.

Will "tacit consent" apply?

Tacit consent does not apply to applications for temporary traffic signals as the council must ensure that, should they be minded to grant an application:

  • The signals will not have a detrimental effect of the road network

Our target completion period for processing a correctly completed application is usually four working days from the time when all documentation has been submitted.

If you have not heard from us within this period, please contact us.

Apply online

Prior to making any application, you are strongly advised to contact us to discuss your requirements.

Once agreed, you can apply on line.

Apply to place temporary traffic signals on the road

Public register

There is no requirement for the council to maintain a public register of these applications.

However, further information may be available if you contact the City and neighbourhood team.

Failed application redress

Please contact the City and neighbourhood team in the first instance.

Consumer complaint

Please contact the City and neighbourhood team in the first instance.


Related Links

Roadworks in the Sunderland area - Notification of road closures, diversions and possible traffic disruption as a result of roadworks that are underway or programmed to take place within the area.

Traffic lights  - Traffic lights in Sunderland are maintained by the Regional Traffic Signal Service based in Newcastle. This page provides details of how to report a faulty traffic signal.


External Links

Safety at street works and road works - Code of practice to ensure safe operations when completing road or street works.

Portable traffic signals for the control of vehicular traffic (opens new window) - Leaflet providing advice on the use of portable traffic signals at road and street works.

The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 - Prescribes the designs and conditions of use for traffic signs to be lawfully placed on or near roads. Traffic signs are essential for the implementation of traffic management schemes and for the enforcement of road traffic law.

Traffic Management Act 2004 (opens new window) - An Act to make provision for and in connection with the designation of traffic officers and their duties; to make provision in relation to the management of road networks; to make new provision for regulating the carrying out of works and other.

This service is provided in partnership with the European EUGO network.

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