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Traffic Regulation Order Data Discovery Project

Blog posted by: Baz Lokat, Senior Consultant, GeoPlace, 10 December 2018.

Like most people I have a routine in the morning before heading out to work; check the train times – make sure they’re running, grab my bag and head out of the door.

My walk to the train station takes 12 min 35 seconds. This morning I paid more attention than usual to my surroundings and counted 43 directives about what I can and can’t do on the road as a pedestrian, cyclist or a driver:

  • double yellow lines
  • single yellow lines
  • no parking, no waiting
  • 20 mph and 30 mph speed limits signs
  • no entry
  • cycle paths, shared pedestrian/cycle paths
  • one way, no left turn, to name just a few.

Baz collage
All of these instructions that form part of an everyday routine are subject to a TRO – a Traffic Regulation Order; a legal order created by local highway authority based on legislation from 1984.  They are potentially the most common legal instrument that we all come across on a daily basis.

Crucial to the way we use the road

TROs are essential to the way organisations that have people using our roads get services to us:

  • helping the delivery driver get that thing to me by 1 pm the next day
  • getting that takeaway delivered whilst it’s still hot
  • getting a taxi from a taxi rank
  • making sure that the emergency responder arrives at the right location quickly.

Most of us  have experienced at least one of these situations before:

  • being directed by a sat-nav to a place you’ve never been to before, “is it a left turn here then a right turn there?”, “no wait, what? I can’t do a u-turn here!”….
  • being in touching distance of where you need to be, your journey has had some up and downs, both literal and figurative, you finally find a spot to park and then you’re confronted with a parking instruction that is just baffling. You’re late
  • that diversionary route when streetworks are (or aren’t) happening
  • knowing where to park and how long for vs getting a parking ticket
  • knowing the speed limit vs getting a speeding ticket
  • or simply being told that the road is closed for an event

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