Purpose of this Code of Practice
This Code of Practice (referred to from here on as the Code) is intended to help you to safely carry out signing, lighting and guarding of street works and road works on all highways and roads, except motorways and any dual carriageways with a speed limit of 50 mph or more. This Code is directed at operatives, supervisors, managers, planners and designers who are responsible for making sure that all street and road works are safe for both operatives and the public. Road users including pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians (horse riders) should not be put at risk, and should be able to see the extent and nature of any obstruction well before they reach it.
You must pay particular attention to the needs of disabled people and should also consider other vulnerable groups such as elderly people, children and those with push chairs. This Code will help you to do this.
Warning: Failure to comply with this Code is evidence of failing to fulfil the legal requirements to sign, light and guard works. Compliance with the Code will be taken as compliance with the legal requirements to which it relates.
Note: Further guidance on safe working on highways, including for some situations not covered by this Code, is available in Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual, published for the Department for Transport et al by The Stationery Office.
Application of the Code
This Code applies to all highways and roads, except motorways and any dual carriageways with a speed limit of 50 mph or more. This Code applies to works carried out by or on behalf of both highway authorities and statutory undertakers. It does not cover skips and scaffolding placed in the highway.
Guidance on some situations not covered by this Code can be found in Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual published for the Department for Transport et al by The Stationery Office. This gives authoritative advice, but it does not have the status of a Code of Practice under the Act. In Northern Ireland Article 31 of the Road Traffic Regulation Order (Northern Ireland) 1997 makes Chapter 8 mandatory for undertakers’ works on motorways or any dual carriageways with a speed limit of 50 mph or more. Elsewhere in the United Kingdom undertakers should refer to Chapter 8 when carrying out such works. For other roads, Chapter 8 or other relevant documents may provide further applicable guidance.
Legal status of the Code
Local highway authorities in England and Wales, and the road authority in Northern Ireland must comply with this Code for their own works. Roads authorities in Scotland should comply with this Code for their own works, as recommended by Scottish Ministers. All instances in the text of ‘highway authorities’ are to be read as references to ‘roads authorities’ in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
An undertaker, and those working on its behalf, carrying out work under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 must comply with this Code for their own works.
With the exception of Scottish roads authorities, failure to comply with this Code is a criminal offence and may lead to criminal prosecution in addition to any civil proceedings. Compliance with the Code will be taken as compliance with the legal requirements to which it relates.
This Code is issued by the Secretary of State for Transport and Welsh Ministers under Section 65 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 and Section 174 of the Highways Act 1980, by Scottish Ministers under Section 124 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, and by the Department for Regional Development under article 25 of the Street Works (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 and Article 31 of the Road Traffic Regulation Order (Northern Ireland) 1997.
All instances in the text of ‘TSRGD (TSR (NI) in Northern Ireland)’ are to be read as references to whatever versions of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions or Traffic Signs Regulations (NI), as appropriate, are in force at the time.
This Code comes into force on 1 October 2014.
Other obligations not covered by this Code
Everyone on site has a personal responsibility to behave safely. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (in Northern Ireland, the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978), employers have duties to protect their employees from dangers to their health and safety and to protect others who might be affected by the work activity (for example pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians and motorists). These include proper arrangements for design (including planning and risk assessment) and management (including supervision) of the works. Under the Equality Act 2010, works promoters also have a duty to have regard for the needs of disabled people and older people in the planning and execution of works.
In order to assess the efficacy of this Code in preventing accidents at street and road works sites, and to gather evidence for future revisions, it is strongly recommended that all works promoters keep records of any accidents or near misses on their sites, with a description of the situation, a cause or contributing factor if possible, and send these records to the relevant Highway Authorities and Utilities Committee on an annual basis for collation.
Department for Transport
The Scottish Government
The Welsh Government
The Department for Regional Development (Northern Ireland)