Temporary roadworks: legislation, barriers, and best practice

Posted on in Concrete Barriers, Maltaward News
TVCB Concrete Barriers

When it comes to any kind of public safety, it is important to get it right and work within the framework of legislation. This is especially true whenever you are looking at a public safety situation that involves vehicles and road traffic. The dangers associated with moving vehicles in proximity to workers and other pedestrians means that when it comes to anything involving temporary roadworks, you must go by the book.

Guidelines and rules here are governed by the New Roads and Steet Works Act, which was originally issued in 1991, and was then updated with a new Code of Practice in 2014. If you are involved in any kind of roadworks, it is important to follow the practice set down here closely. Of course, it is true that moving from theory to practice can be difficult.

To make things as easy as possible, we have prepared this blog on safety guidance and understanding how to implement the rules as you carry out roadworks.

Which legislation is relevant here?

As mentioned above, the main piece of legislation pertaining to road works is the New Roads and Steet Works Act – especially taking into account the changes in practice guidance issues in the Code of Practice update of 2014. However, there is other legislation that it is important to familiarise yourself with.

Any roadworks that have an impact on traffic need to use appropriate road signs and signals. For this, you should follow the rules of the Department of Transport’s Traffic Signs Manual – paying close attention to Chapter 8’s part 1 and part 2.

You have a duty of safety to both works at the site and the general public, whose footpaths and other safe passages may be affected by the roadworks.

Who is this legislation relevant to?

The legislation for roadwork safety is relevant to any organisation or individual that is involved with temporary road works. This includes any time where off-street works could impact public road safety. These include:

  • Highways and roads authorities
  • Private companies
  • Utility companies
  • Road work supervisors and managers
  • Anyone involved in organising and planning roadworks
  • Staff and workers

Best practice for temporary roadworks

When it comes to carrying out temporary roadworks, it is important to break down the details of best practice into two specific categories: preparation and operation. You can consider preparation to be any of the work that is carried out before the actual roadworks begin. You can consider operation to be the actual running of the roadworks themselves.

Preparation best practice

Of course, it is vital to prepare properly for the work that you are going to carry out. Some key steps it is vital to take during preparation include:

  • Follow local authority licensing procedures – understand issues around fees, deadlines, and notice requirements, as set out by your local authority.
  • Work with a qualified overseer – it is important to work with and take the recommendations of a qualified overseer as you prepare, and during the works themselves. In this context, ‘qualified’ means anything with relevant professional experience such as a professional surveyor.
  • Make plans available – you should provide detailed plans for you works and these should be provided to relevant authorities.
  • Consider who will be affected – it is important to think about other companies and organisations that might be affected by the works that you are carrying out. For example, if you are working in the road, will the drains be covered and out of operation? This will have an impact on drains and sewers.
  • Research the right tools – you need to understand the equipment and tools that you are going to need. For example, you will need appropriate safety barriers for the work and it is important to understand the details.

Operation best practice

Now you get down to the business of actually carrying out your road works. Once again it is vital get the specifics of your operating strategy right. Some of the important things to do include:

  • Have appropriate signage in place – your signage needs to provide advance warning of any works and should provide clear information to anyone affected by them – it also needs to be completely clear and unobstructed. Any relevant speed restrictions should be highlighted, and of course, all signage must be regularly inspected.
  • Use of safety barriers – any road works requires the use of appropriate safety barriers – and these barriers must be fit for the purpose they are intended. You should consider location when choosing barriers – for example, in areas with high winds, barriers should be weighed down with ballast.
  • Put lighting in place – remember that lighting is crucial, even if works are not being carried out at night. Provide lighting that is appropriate in poor weather and bad conditions. And remember to maintain and check the lighting on a regular basis to ensure it is working.


At Maltaward, we have years of experience providing safety barriers to companies carrying out road works. If you are interested in learning more or hiring barriers from us, please don’t hesitate to contact us today or visit our barriers pages for more information.

Steph Davies
Steph Davies
2 November 2023
I have been using Maltaward for about 12 years, mostly using their traveller eviction services. They have always been very helpful and easy to deal with. No fuss, just get the job done! More recently in my new company, I have brought them in to use utilised their vacant security services. They have worked with me to provide the correct service for our specific requirements. They have a common sense approach to everything. I really cannot recommend the team enough. They have been without a doubt the best security company I have been involved with.
Tom Lampard
Tom Lampard
2 November 2023
Everyone, and I mean everyone!, from the office team to the guys that drop the barriers, at Maltaward is very responsive, polite and genuinely helpful! I have used them at several sites and they have never let me down!
Syanne Mara
Syanne Mara
23 January 2023
Amazing service as always with a quick response time. Maltaward always have a solution to all problems and execute any works or requirements swiftly and thoroughly.
Julie Curtis
Julie Curtis
23 January 2023
Excellent product & delivery. We have ordered from Maltaward several times and we can't fault them.
21 November 2022
Quick turnaround and a good job. Many thanks .
Ian Rhoden
Ian Rhoden
26 August 2022
Great experience Keith was top-notch
Declan Goldie
Declan Goldie
9 August 2022
I have used maltaward for years. Jim has been very helpful throughout this time. Thanks
Sally Atkins
Sally Atkins
1 July 2022
Just wanted to say a big thankyou to your driver Del, although he didn’t like nettles :) he carried out the job with no bother. Would highly recommend Maltaward

Request a Free Quote

Fill out the form below and we will get back to you ASAP.

Add Any Supporting Documents Or Images
Max. file size: 32 MB.

Why Choose Maltaward Barriers?


  • Fast and Friendly Service
  • 30 Years Experience with Proven Track Record
  • FORS Gold Certified
  • ISO 9001 Certified
  • Local Authority and Major Property Managers Approved
  • Heathrow & Gatwick Airport Approved
  • Range of Solutions to Suit Your Budget

What Our Clients Think Of Us

We are really greatful for you guys organising these barriers, the driver was early, took no time at all and we are now properly secure. We will only use you for this sort of stuff in future, 10/10 service.


Multiple compliments from staff and patients – I have been taking full credit.

Chaps did an excellent job – quick and efficient and spelling perfect!

Car Park Line Marking