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Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (c. 27)
  Main body
  Part V Traffic Signs
                          
Version 2 of 2
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General provisions
Click to open 64. General provisions as to traffic signs.
64.
General provisions as to traffic signs.
(1) In this Act traffic sign" means any object or device (whether fixed or portable) for conveying, to traffic on roads or any specified class of traffic, warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions of any description
(a)
specified by regulations made by the Ministers acting jointly, or
(b)
authorised by the Secretary of State,
and any line or mark on a road for so conveying such warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions.
(2) Traffic signs shall be of the size, colour and type prescribed by regulations made as mentioned in subsection (1)(a) above except where the Secretary of State authorises the erection or retention of a sign of another character; and for the purposes of this subsection illumination, whether by lighting or by the use of reflectors or reflecting material, or the absence of such illumination, shall be part of the type or character of a sign.
(3) Regulations under this section may be made so as to apply either generally or in such circumstances only as may be specified in the regulations.
(4) Except as provided by this Act, no traffic sign shall be placed on or near a road except
(a)
a notice in respect of the use of a bridge;
(b)
a traffic sign placed, in pursuance of powers conferred by a special Act of Parliament or order having the force of an Act, by the owners or operators of a tramway, light railway or trolley vehicle undertaking, a dock undertaking or a harbour undertaking; or
(c)
a traffic sign placed on any land
(i) by a person authorised under the following provisions of this Act to place the sign on a [F1 road], and
(ii) for a purpose for which he is authorised to place it on a [F1 road].
(5) Regulations under this section, or any authorisation under subsection (2) above, may provide that [F2 section 36 of the Road Traffic Act 1988] (drivers to comply with traffic directions) shall apply to signs of a type specified in that behalf by the regulations or, as the case may be, to the sign to which the authorisation relates.
(6) References in any enactment (including any enactment contained in this Act) to the erection or placing of traffic signs shall include references to the display of traffic signs in any manner, whether or not involving fixing or placing.
Amendments (Textual)
Word in s. 64(4)(c)(i) and (ii) substituted (S.) by Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 (c. 54, SIF 108), s. 128(1), Sch. 9 para. 93(21) and substituted (1.11.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59, 108), s. 168(1), Sch. 8 para.47; S.I. 1991/2288, art. 2(2),Sch.
Words substituted by Road Traffic (Consequential Provisions) Act 1988 (c. 54, SIF 107:1), s. 4, Sch. 3 para. 25(3)
Modifications etc. (not altering text)
S. 64 extended by British Railways Act 1987 (c. xxix), ss. 25, 31(1)(4)
S. 64 applied (with modifications)(6.3.1992) by Aberdeen Harbour Order Confirmation Act 1992 (c. ii), s. 1, Sch. s. 3(2).
S. 64 applied (with modifications) (29.3.1993) by 1993 c. iv, s. 25(1)(b)(3).
S. 64 applied (with modifications) (29.3.1993) by 1993 c. iv, s. 26(1)(b)(3).
S. 64: transfer of certain functions (27.12.1999) by S.I. 1999/3143, art. 2(1)
S. 64(1): definition of traffic signs applied (S.) (1.11.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59, 108), s. 43(3) (with ss. 47(4), 167(2)); s.I. 1991/2286, art. 2(2), Sch. 2
S. 64(1)(a): amended (1.7.1999) by S.I. 1999/1750, art. 4, Sch. 3; S.I. 1998/3178, art. 3
S. 64(1)(b)(2): transfer of functions (1.7.1999) by S.I. 1999/1750, art. 2, Sch. 1; S.I. 1998/3178, art. 3
S. 64(4) extended (11.11.1996) by S.I. 1996/2714, art. 17(3)
S. 64(4) modified (24.7.2001) by S.I. 2001/3627, art. 18(3)
Click to open 65. Powers and duties of highway authorities as to placing of traffic signs.
65.
Powers and duties of highway authorities as to placing of traffic signs.
[ F3 (1) The traffic authority may cause or permit traffic signs to be placed on or near a road, subject to and in conformity with such general directions as may be given by the Ministers acting jointly or such other directions as may be given by the Secretary of State.]
[ F4 (1A) The power to give general directions under subsection (1) above includes power to require equipment used in connection with traffic signs to be of a type approved in accordance with the directions.]
[ F5 (2) The Secretary of State may give directions to a local traffic authority]
(a)
for the placing of a traffic sign of any prescribed type or authorised character specified in the directions, or
(b)
for replacing a sign so specified by, or converting it into, a sign of another prescribed type or authorised character so specified.
(3) The power to give general directions under subsection (1) above shall be exercisable by statutory instrument.
[F6 (3A) No charge may be made
(a)
in England and Wales, by a highway authority which is the council of a county, metropolitan district or London borough or the Common Council of the City of London, or
(b)
in Scotland, by a local roads authority,
with respect to the exercise of their power under subsection (1) above to permit a traffic sign to be placed on or near any road in their area if (i) the sign conveys information of a temporary nature or is otherwise intended to be placed only temporarily; and
(ii) the sign is to be placed by a body which is prescribed for the purposes of this subsection as being a body appearing to the Secretary of State to be representative of the interests of road users or any class of road users.]
(4) In this section
authorised character" means a character authorised by the Secretary of State; and
prescribed type" means a type prescribed by regulations made under section 64(1)(a) of this Act.
Amendments (Textual)
S. 65(1) substituted (1.11.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59, 108), s. 168(1), Sch. 8 para. 48(2); which substitution is in force for Scotland only by S.I. 1991/2286, art. 2(2), Sch. 2, and England and Wales only by S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3, Sch.
S. 65(1A) inserted (1.7.1992) by Road Traffic Act 1991 (c. 40, SIF 107:1), s. 48, Sch. 4, para. 29; S.I. 1992/1286, art. 2,Sch.
Words in s. 65(2) substituted (1.11.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59, 108), s. 168(1), Sch. 8 para. 48(3); which substitution is in force for Scotland only by S.I. 1991/2286, art. 2(2), Sch.2, and for England and Wales only by S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3,Sch.
S. 65(3A) inserted by Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (c. 42, SIF 81:1, 2), s. 153(1)(2)
Modifications etc. (not altering text)
S. 65: transfer of certain functions to the Secretary of State by S.I. 1986/315, art. 3(1) and by S.I. 1986/316, art. 3(1)
S. 65 applied (with modifications)(6.3.1992) by Aberdeen Harbour Order Confirmation Act 1992 (c. ii), s. 1, Sch. s. 3(2).
S. 65: transfer of certain functions (3.7.2000) by 1999 c. 29, s. 275(1)(2) (with Sch. 12 para. 9(1)); S.I. 2000/801, art. 2, Sch.
S. 65 extended (30.4.1999) by S.I. 1999/1306, art. 20(3)
S. 65 extended (21.7.1999) by S.I. 1999/2129, art. 32(3)
S. 65: transfer of certain functions (27.12.1999) by S.I. 1999/3143, art. 2(1)
S. 65 extended (24.7.2001) by S.I. 2001/3627, art. 53(3)
S. 65 extended (14.3.2002) by S.I. 2002/412, art. 27(3)  (with art. 38)
S. 65(1) extended (18.6.1992) by British Railways (No. 2) Act 1992 (c. xi), s. 14(3)(b).
S. 65(1) extended (29.3.1993) by 1993 c. iv, s. 3(3).
S. 65(1) modified (27.7.1993) by 1993 c. xv, s. 4(5).
S. 65(1) applied (24.3.1994) by 1994 c. ii, s. 1 Sch. Pt. II, s. 5(3)(c)
S. 65(1) applied (21.7.1994) by 1994 c. xv, s. 4(5)
S. 65(1) power to contract out functions of the Secretary of State (S.) (16.3.1996) by S.I. 1996/878, art. 2, Sch. para. 4
S. 65(1): transfer of certain functions (1.7.1999) by S.I. 1999/1750, art. 2, Sch. 1; S.I. 1998/3178, art. 3
S. 65(1) amended (1.7.1999) by S.I. 1999/1750, art. 4, Sch. 3; S.I. 1998/3178, art. 3
S. 65(2)(3A)(b)(ii): tranfer of functions (1.7.1999) by S.I. 1999/1750, art. 2 Sch. 3; S.I. 1998/3178, art. 3
Click to open 66. Traffic signs for giving effect to local traffic regulations.
66.
Traffic signs for giving effect to local traffic regulations.
(1) A constable, or a person acting under the instructions (whether general or specific) of the chief officer of police, may place on a [F7 road], or on any structure on a [F7 road], traffic signs (of any size, colour and type prescribed or authorised under section 64 of this Act) indicating prohibitions, restrictions or requirements relating to vehicular traffic, as may be requisite
(a)
for giving effect to regulations, orders or directions under any enactment mentioned in subsection (2) below, or
(b)
for giving effect to directions given under [F8 section 31(4) of the Road Traffic Act 1988] (which enables directions to be given in consequence of the holding of an authorised race or trial of speed).
(2) The enactments referred to in subsection (1) above are
(a)
section 52 of the M1 Metropolitan Police Act 1839 (which relates to prevention of obstruction on public occasions or in the neighbourhood of public buildings in the metropolitan police district);
(b)
section 22 of the M2 local Act of the second and third year of the reign of Queen Victoria, chapter 94 (which makes similar provision in relation to the City of London);
(c)
section 21 of the M3 Town Police Clauses Act 1847 (which likewise makes similar provision for areas to which that Act is applied); and
(d)
section [F9 62 of the M4 Roads (Scotland) Act 1984] and any corresponding provision contained in a local Act relating to any part of Scotland.
(3) In this section prescribed" means prescribed by regulations under section 64(1)(a) of this Act.
Amendments (Textual)
Words in s. 66(1) substituted (S.) by Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 (c. 54, SIF 108), s. 128(1), Sch. 9 para. 93(23)(a) and substituted (1.11.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59, 108), s. 168(1), Sch. 8 para. 49; S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3,Sch.
Words substituted by Road Traffic (Consequential Provisions) Act 1988 (c. 54, SIF 107:1), s. 4, Sch. 3 para. 25(4)
Words in s. 66(2)(d) substituted (S.) by Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 (c. 54, SIF 108), s. 128(1), Sch. 9 para. 93(23)(b)
Marginal Citations
1839 c. 47(95).
1839 c. xciv.
1847 c. 89(107:1).
1984 c. 54(108).
Click to open 67. Emergencies and temporary obstructions.
67.
Emergencies and temporary obstructions.
(1) A constable, or a person acting under the instructions (whether general or specific) of the chief officer of police, may place on a [F10 road], or on any structure on a [F10 road], traffic signs (of any size, colour and type prescribed or authorised under section 64 of this Act), indicating prohibitions, restrictions or requirements relating to vehicular traffic, as may be necessary or expedient to prevent or mitigate congestion or obstruction of traffic, or danger to or from traffic, in consequence of extraordinary circumstances; and the power to place signs conferred by this subsection shall include power to maintain a sign for a period of 7 days or less from the time when it was placed, but no longer.
(2) [F11 Section 36 of the Road Traffic Act 1988] (drivers to comply with traffic directions) shall apply to signs placed in the exercise of the powers conferred by subsection (1) above.
(3) Regulations under section 64 of this Act prescribing any type of object or device for warning traffic of a temporary obstruction may include provisions for authorising (subject to such conditions as may be specified in the regulations) persons not otherwise authorised to do so to place an object or device of that type on or near roads, or on or near any description of road so specified, in such circumstances and for such periods as may be so specified.
Amendments (Textual)
Words in s. 67(1) substituted (S.) by Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 (c. 54, SIF 108), s. 128(1), Sch. 9 para. 93(24) and substituted (1.11.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59, 108), s. 168(1), Sch. 8 para.50; S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3,Sch.
Words substituted by Road Traffic (Consequential Provisions) Act 1988 (c. 54, SIF 107:1), s. 4, Sch. 3 para. 25(5)
Modifications etc. (not altering text)
S. 67 applied (with modifications)(6.3.1992) by Aberdeen Harbour Order Confirmation Act 1992 (c. ii), s. 1, Sch. s. 3(2).
S. 67 excluded (S.) (4.1.1995) by 1994 c. 39, s. 150(1); S.I. 1994/2850, art. 3a, Sch. 2
Click to open 68. Placing of traffic signs in connection with exercise of other powers.
68.
Placing of traffic signs in connection with exercise of other powers.
(1) This section applies to any authority having power to make
(a)
an order under or by virtue of any of the following provisions of this Act, namely, sections 1 to 4, sections 14, [F12 16A]19, 29, F13 . . . 32, 35, 37, 38, 45 and 46 and subsections (2) and (4) of section 49, or
(b)
an order as respects a road outside Greater London under section 9 of this Act, or
(c)
an order to which this paragraph applies by virtue of any provision of Part VI of this Act.
(2) Without prejudice to any powers conferred by or under any other provision of this Act, but subject to subsection (3) below, an authority to whom this section applies may place and maintain, or cause to be placed and maintained, such traffic signs, of any type prescribed or character authorised under section 64 of this Act, as the authority may consider necessary in connection with any order made by the authority as respects any road and falling within any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (1) above [F14 or, in the case of a traffic authority having power to make an order under section 14 of this Act, as the authority may consider necessary in connection with any order made or notice issued by them under that section]; but, if the order is made [F15 or, as the case may be, the notice is issued]by an authority other than the [F16 traffic authority] for the road, the authority by whom the order is made [F15 or, as the case may be, the notice is issued]
(a)
shall consult with the [traffic authority] as to the placing of the signs, and
(b)
unless the [F16 traffic authority] are unwilling to do so, shall enter into arrangements with the [F16 traffic authority] for the signs to be placed and maintained by the [F16 traffic authority]
(3) The power conferred by subsection (2) above on an authority to whom this section applies shall be exercisable subject to and in conformity with any general directions given under section 65(1) of this Act, whether that authority is a [F16 traffic authority] or not; and any other power conferred by section 65 to give directions to a [F16 traffic authority] shall include power to give the like directions to an authority to whom this section applies.
Amendments (Textual)
Words in s. 68(1)(a) inserted (3.5.1994) by 1994 C. 11, s. 3(1), Sch. para. 1
S. 68(1): reference to s. 30 repealed (1.11.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59, 108), s. 168(1)(2), Sch. 8 para. 51(2), Sch. 9; which repeal is in force for Scotland only by S.I. 1991/2286, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 and for England and Wales only by S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3, Sch.
Words in s. 68(2) inserted (1.7.1992) by Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991 (c. 26, SIF 107:1), s. 1(3)(a); S.I. 1992/1218, art. 2.
Words in s. 68(2) inserted (1.7.1992) by Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991 (c. 26, SIF 107:1), s. 1(3)(b); S.I. 1992/1218, art. 2.
Words in s. 68(2) and (3) substituted (1.11.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59, 108), s. 168(1), Sch. 8 para. 51(3); which substitution is in force for Scotland only by S.I. 1991/2286, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 and for England and Wales only by S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3, Sch.
Modifications etc. (not altering text)
S. 68 applied (with modifications)(6.3.1992) by Aberdeen Harbour Order Confirmation Act 1992 (c. ii), s. 1, Sch. s. 3(2).
Click to open 69. General provisions as to removal of signs.
69.
General provisions as to removal of signs.
(1) The [F17 traffic authority] may by notice in writing require the owner or occupier of any land on which there is an object or device (whether fixed or portable) for the guidance or direction of persons using [F18 the road] to remove it.
(2) If a person fails to comply with such a notice, the [F19 traffic authority] may themselves effect the removal, doing as little damage as may be; and the expenses incurred by them in doing so shall be recoverable by them from the person in default, and, in England or Wales, shall be so recoverable summarily as a civil debt.
(3) The Secretary of State may give directions to a [F20 local traffic authority] requiring the authority to remove, or cause to be removed, any traffic sign or any such object or device as is mentioned in subsection (1) above.
Amendments (Textual)
Words in s. 69(1) substituted (1.11.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59, 108), s. 168(1), Sch. 8 para. 52(2)(a); which substitution is in force for Scotland only by S.I. 1991/2286, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 and for England and Wales only by S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3, Sch.
Words in s. 69(1) substituted (1.11.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59, 108), s. 168(1), Sch. 8 para. 52(2)(b); which substitution is in force for Scotland only by S.I. 1991/2286, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 and for England and Wales only by S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3,Sch.
Words in s. 69(2) substituted (1.11.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59, 108), s. 168(1), Sch. 8 para. 52(3); which substitution is in force for Scotland only by S.I. 1991/2286, art. 2(2), Sch.2 and for England and Wales only by S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3,Sch.
Words in s. 69(3) substituted (1.11.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59, 108), s. 168(1), Sch. 8 para. 52(4); which substitution is in force for Scotland only by S.I. 1991/2286, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 and for England and Wales only by S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3,Sch.
Modifications etc. (not altering text)
S. 69(1)(2)(3): transfer of functions (1.7.1999) by S.I 1999/1750, art. 2, Sch. 1; S.I. 1998/3178, art. 3
Click to open 70. Default powers of Secretary of State as to traffic signs.
70.
Default powers of Secretary of State as to traffic signs.
(1) If a [F21 local traffic authority] or an authority to whom section 68 of this Act applies fail to comply with any direction given under section 65(2) or section 69 of this Act, the Secretary of State may himself carry out the work required by the direction; and the expenses incurred by him in doing so shall be recoverable by him from the authority, and, in England or Wales, shall be so recoverable summarily as a civil debt.
(2) Any such direction
(a)
if relating to a road in England or Wales, shall be enforceable on the application of the Secretary of State by an order of mandamus; or
(b)
if relating to a road in Scotland, shall be enforceable by order of the Court of Session on an application by the Lord Advocate under section 91 of the M5 Court of Session Act 1868.
Amendments (Textual)
Words in s. 70(1) substituted by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59, 108), ss. 168(1), Sch. 8 para.53; which substitution is in force for Scotland only by S.I. 1991/2286, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 and for England and Wales only by S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3,Sch.
Modifications etc. (not altering text)
S. 70: transfer of functions (6.5.1999) by S.I. 1999/901, art. 5, Sch.
S. 70(1): transfer of functions (1.7.1999) by S.I. 1999/1750, art. 2, Sch. 1; S.I. 1998/3178, art. 3
Marginal Citations
1868 c. 100(36:).
Click to open 71. Power to enter land in connection with traffic signs.
71.
Power to enter land in connection with traffic signs.
(1) A [F22 local traffic authority] or an authority to whom section 68 of this Act applies or the Secretary of State may enter any land and exercise such other powers as may be necessary for the purpose of the exercise and performance of their powers and duties of placing, replacing, converting and removing traffic signs or their powers and duties under section 69 of this Act.
(2) In this section traffic signs" includes signposts for footpaths (within the meaning of the M6 Highways Act 1980) and bridleways, and signposts" includes other signs or notices for the same purpose.
(3) Subsection (2) above does not extend to Scotland.
Amendments (Textual)
Words in s. 71(1) substituted (1.11.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59, 108), s. 168(1), Sch. 8 para.54; which substitution is in force for Scotland only by S.I. 1991/2286, art. 2(2), Sch.2 and for England and Wales only by S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3,Sch.
Modifications etc. (not altering text)
S. 71(1): tranfer of functions (1.7.1999) by S.I. 1999/1750, art. 2, Sch. 1; S.I. 1998/3178, art. 3
Marginal Citations
1980 c. 66(59).


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Version no Start date End date Extent Confers power Blanket amendment
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