Using roads, bridges and other structures for non-traffic activities
Roads and Maritime Services endeavours to support community access to bridges, roads and other structures, however there are conditions, and permission is required.
Closing a road for an event or activity
If you want to close part or all of a bridge or road for an event or activity, you will require a licence. Depending on the type of road and the type of activity, you may need to seek special permission from a number of agencies and councils.
Road Occupancy Licence
A Road Occupancy Licence is required for any activity likely to impact on the traffic flow, even if that activity takes place off-road. Examples include:
- Road maintentance activities (linemarking, resurfacing etc)
- Lane closures around building sites for safety reasons or to move equipment such as cranes to or from the site
- Filming activities that require lane or road closures, or from an adjacent vehicle
- Grass cutting along median strip requiring a lane or the road shoulder to be closed for safety.
A special event in traffic management terms is any planned activity that is wholly or partly conducted on a road, requires multiple agency involvement, requires special traffic management arrangements, and may involve large numbers of participants and/or spectators.
Examples include marathons, fun runs, cycling events, parades, marches and street market days.
The definition also applies to events conducted in their own venue if the event requires special traffic management arrangements and multiple agency support.
For more information, see Resources for event organisers on the LiveTraffic website.
Shining colours or images onto a bridge or other structure
Requests to project images or coloured lights onto a bridge or other structure will be considered a special event. See Resources for event organisers on the LiveTraffic website.
Please note that heritage bridges and assets, such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, are subject to special rules.
Hanging banners on bridges and overpasses
Roads and Maritime proudly supports community services and road safety by permitting the display of banners on selected bridges over certain roads.
We do this at no cost to the organisation requesting the banner display, however the event or activity promoted must be non-commercial and non-profit making, and for the benefit of the community.
We do not allow the advertising of alcohol, political statements or anything which may be considered offensive.
To apply to hang a banner:
- Read the Policy for banners on bridges
- Submit your application and all supporting documents via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fishing from, jumping from, or climbing on a bridge
Roads and Maritime has a duty of care to protect the general public from the risk of harm that may come from fishing from, jumping from, or climbing on bridges, and so in general terms these activities are prohibited.
If these prohibited activities are known to occur on a specific bridge, we will assess the site in accordance with the Control of fishing, jumping or climbing from or on bridges policy, and identify appropriate treatments, such as warning signs or physical control measures (such as fences, screens, barbed wire etc) if necessary. If required, Roads and Maritime will also liaise with the police, local government and other agencies regarding enforcement and education activities.
Heritage bridges and assets
Special rules apply to the use of heritage bridges and assets, such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Gladesville Bridge.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Roads and Maritime manages the Sydney Harbour Bridge in line with the Sydney Harbour Bridge Conservation Management Plan.
Under this plan, any proposed changes or uses of the bridge must be considered in terms of the impact on the cultural heritage values of the bridge as a whole, as well as any operational or security requirements (see Policy 19, on page 99 of the Plan).
The bridge may be used for selected displays, banners and fireworks where these are relevant to the community at large, and where the theme is not detrimental to the cultural heritage significance of the bridge (see Policy 22, on page 100 of the Plan). Any display, banner or fireworks attached to the bridge should not damage it, nor compromise the basic form and geometry of the bridge. Anything attached to the bridge should be for a defined time period, and be fully reversible (Policy 22, page 100).
The bridge, including the arch, pylons, approach spans and approaches, should not be used for commerical advertising in any form, including signage (Policy 25, page 101).
You will need to submit a Permit application - non-development and special event activities to the Transport Management Centre.