To the public, TTM (Temporary Traffic Management) looks simple – orange cones, signs, some big bright light up trucks and a couple of “lollypop people.”
In fact, the Traffic Management process is far more complex. The planning and organization needed for just one small closure, for one day, can take weeks of planning.
Any work that varies the normal operating conditions of any road (including berm and footpath) requires some sort of traffic management plan and approval from the Road Controlling Authority (RCA) for the region the work is being completed. All plans must be in accordance with the Waka Kotahi Code of Practice for TTM (also known as CoPTTM). The main purpose of Traffic Management is to ensure that workers, road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, are kept safe.
The Fours W’s
Planning starts with the four W’s – Who, What, When and Where. Who is doing this work? What works are being carried out (including plant and equipment, entry and exit plans), When do you want to do the work? Lastly, where are you doing this work? This information is needed to put together a precise and fit for purpose Traffic Management Plan (TMP).
A Temporary Traffic Management plan (TMP) is made up of two main components – the Pro-Forma Document and a Traffic Management Diagram (TMD). The pro-forma details all information relating to the work, road conditions, monitoring, contingency plans and much more. The TMD is a design showing the work area, safety zones, TTM equipment including cones, signs and where traffic signals or staffed traffic control will be if required.
Other things to consider when putting together a TMP are: businesses in the area, traffic volumes, level of road, special events, residents, and a myriad of other factors, all of which dictate when the proposed works can be undertaken (days, nights, weekends etc.)
A TMP is a Must
Ensuring the TMP is correct is essential. A correct and fit for purpose TMP means the worksite is safe, compliant and that works should go ahead without a hitch.
Once the TMP is completed and checked, it is submitted for approval by the RCA. Depending on the region, the timeframe and process for gaining approval can differ. Prior to booking a work start date, it is important to do your research and find out what the process and timeframe for approval from your local RCA is to ensure the timeframe can be met.
Once the TMP is approved, there is still more to be done before work can start!
Time to Gather Up a Team
Next comes booking and organizing a crew. Often the company that has supplied and submitted your TMP will be able to organize the Temporary Traffic Management Crew to execute the TMP on site, you will need to ensure you have booked a crew through your TMP company prior to the works start date. Alternatively, if your TMP company cannot supply a Temporary Traffic Management Crew, you will need to engage one yourself and supply all the correct information (the full TMP, including Pro- Forma document and TMD).
In some situations, there is a requirement to inform the public of the planned works as there may be traffic delays or road closures in place. Public notification can be in various forms, letter drops, newspaper advertisements or Mobile Variable Message Sign boards (VMS boards) advising upcoming works are all common ways of informing the public. The bigger the closure, the more public notification and notice will be required.
Now we have everything in place and are ready to go for our scheduled work date!
On the day works are planned to begin, your TTM crew will be available at a pre-determined start time, the Site Traffic Management Supervisor (STMS) will organize their people and TTM equipment as per the approved TMP. The STMS relies on the TMP being correct and providing all information they need to install, monitor, and uplift the closure.
The STMS is responsible for the site, this includes the workers inside the site and making sure the public pass through the site safely. The STMS often relies on assistance from their traffic controllers (TCs’). Everything the Temporary Traffic Management team do, requires training and formal qualifications, risk assessments, hazard identification, processes and procedures, installation and uplift sequencing, monitoring plans, checks – double checks – and triple checks.
Only once all the I’s are dotted and the T’s crossed are the works ready to start!
I hope this blog sheds some light on the complex, strategic operation that is Temporary Traffic Management.
If you are looking to engage a Traffic Management company to help plan or execute work, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Parallaxx. We are a collection of experts in the TMP and TTM sector and we are always here to help.
Equally, if you are interested in starting or advancing your career in Traffic Management, Parallaxx offer a wide range of training courses that cater to those beginning their career as a Traffic Controller, through to more advanced and specialised fields.
Contact us for more information.