Should A Safety Certificate Include A Requirement For The Holder To Produce A Traffic Management Plan?

Section 2(1) of the Safety of Sports grounds act 1975 empowers the certifying authority to include in the safety certificate “such terms and conditions as the local authority considers necessary or expedient to secure reasonable safety at the sports ground……” In this context the SGSA has always understood that “at the ground” refers to the curtilage of the ground. Therefore a condition could not be inserted into a safety certificate to ensure the safety of spectators before they have entered, or once they have left, the curtilage.

A safety certificate cannot impose conditions on the certificate holder on issues over which he has no control, for example areas outside the curtilage of the ground. A safety certificate could not therefore impose a requirement on the holder to produce a traffic management plan for a public highway adjacent to the ground. However, if the lack of effective traffic management on that highway prejudices the reasonable safety of spectators while they are within the curtilage of the ground appropriate account should be taken of the issue in determining the capacity of the ground. While a safety certificate cannot impose a requirement for the holder to produce a traffic management plan for areas outside the curtilage there is nothing to prevent ground management from developing such a plan as a means of mitigating any reduction in capacity.

At grounds where spectators and vehicles are present within the curtilage of the ground the certificate holder should be required to produce an on-site traffic management plan. In developing the plan ground management should identify the hazards associated with vehicular movements within confined spaces where there are large numbers of spectators, and the steps to be taken to mitigate them. Further advice on the issues to be considered in developing traffic management plan is available in Sports Grounds and Stadia Guide No 4 “Safety Management” and the HSE publication “Workplace Transport Safety”.