The Government has published guidance for local authorities on making traffic regulation orders (TROs) along the HS2 Phase One route.
Schedule 25 of the High Speed Rail (London to West Midlands) Act 2017 requires authorities along the route to consult the Secretary of State for Transport before making an order that could ‘significantly interfere’ with use of the road for HS2 construction purposes.
The guidance explains how highway authorities should fulfill their duties and outlines how the transport secretary proposes to exercise powers to direct authorities to revoke, change or bring in TROs.
It lists the authorities on the HS2 Phase One route and defines relevant roads as those that are, or may potentially be, used by heavy commercial vehicles for the construction of HS2 Phase One.
The guidance states that traffic authority should take into account any objection by the transport secretary in deciding whether to make a TRO or modify its terms. It notes that the secretary of state has the power to prohibit an authority from making a TRO or bringing it into operation and to vary or revoke a TRO, for example if his or her objections have been ignored.
It also covers how ministers will engage with councils in relation to traffic management measures thought necessary for proposed highway works required for the high speed link.
According to the guidance, where it is identified that a TRO (whether new or to revoke or vary an existing TRO) is needed, it is intended that an application should be made to the relevant authority and be dealt with in the normal way ‘and that recourse will only be had to the default powers in Schedule 25 should the traffic authority fail to deal with the application reasonably expeditiously, refuse to make the TRO or in other exceptional circumstances’.