Mallon announces commencement of review of special events legislation

Date published: 27 July 2020


Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced that a review of the special events legislation is live.

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The Roads (Miscellaneous Provision) Act (Northern Ireland) 2010 was enacted following a public consultation and Northern Ireland Assembly scrutiny.  The legislation provides the power to close a road so that a special event, such as a street party, or sporting event, can be held on it.  In most cases the power is provided to the local Council in which the road is located.  The exceptions being any event proposed for a special road, which are mainly motorways, for which the Department for Infrastructure is responsible.

Announcing the commencement of the review Minister Mallon said:

“The review of the special events legislation will allow all interested stakeholders to have their voices heard on how the legislation is operating. The special events legislation was introduced following public consultation and was subsequently passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly. 

“I am aware that concerns have been raised by Councils, sporting bodies and other organisations about how the legislation operates.  Having listened to those concerns, I am pleased to announce that I have asked my officials to carry out a review on how the legislation is operating in practice, with a specific objective to identify areas where possible improvements to the process and how events are delivered can be made.

“Anyone with an interest in this area, will be able to contribute to the review from today by accessing the online questionnaire at:

“We will also be writing directly to sporting bodies and other key stakeholders to ask them to participate in the review and I would encourage anyone with an interest in special events to share their view and make their voices heard so that together we can make sure our legislation is fit for purpose and for our communities.”

The closing date for response is Thursday 24 September. 


Notes to editors: 

  1. The Roads (Miscellaneous Provision) Act (Northern Ireland) 2010 was enacted on 13 August 2010.
  2. An Order, commencing the specific special events provisions, was made on 25 January 2017 with the provisions becoming operational on 4 September 2017.
  3. The Act amends the Road Traffic Regulation (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 to provide the relevant authority the power to prohibit or restrict traffic using a public road for the purpose of holding a special event.
  4. Special events are defined in the legislation as:
  • Any sporting event, social event or entertainment which is held on a public road; or,
  • The making of a film on a public road.
  1. The relevant authority:
  • For a special road, is the Department; and,
  • For any other public road, is the local district council.

Special roads are all motorways, the Westlink and the A8M Sandyknowes/Corrs Corner. 

  1. The following are not special events:
  • Public processions;
  • Motor road races; and
  • Cycle races or trials

These are dealt with under separate legislation.

  1. The legislation provided a new power and was requested by Belfast City Council, the police and the film industry. 
  2. The legislation provides a framework for assessing applications and requires that an order is made before a special event can be held.  The following are specific requirements which are needed before an order can be made:
  • A notice published in at least one local newspaper;
  • the consent of the Department; and,
  • Consultation with the police, fire and ambulance services. 
  1. The review will start immediately with the questionnaire being made available online at The questionnaire will be available to complete for an eight week period. 
  2. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at:
  3. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  4. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure


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