§ Bob Russell
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list those categories of public bodies which can apply for the permanent closure of areas of the public highway to prevent use by motorised vehicles; 
(2) in what circumstances individuals or organisations, other than public bodies, may apply for the permanent closure of areas of the public highway to prevent use by motorised vehicles; and in what circumstances this would be allowed. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
[holding answer 25 November 2002]Use of a public highway by vehicles may be prohibited or restricted by means of traffic regulation orders (TRO) made under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, while the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Highways Act 1980 include provisions for stopping up highways completely.
Responsibility for making TROs rests with the local traffic authority. It is open to anyone to make representations about the need to control vehicular traffic, but it is for the traffic authority concerned to decide whether the making of a TRO is appropriate. For local roads the making of a TRO is subject to the procedures set out in The Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 SI 1996/2489 and for trunk roads The Secretary of State's Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1990 SI 1990/1656. These regulations require prior notice of the proposed making of an order and allow for objections to be made which the traffic authority must consider in deciding whether to make the order.
Section 247 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provides for the stopping up or diversion of highways in connection with development by means of an order made by the Secretary of State on the application of a developer who has been granted planning permission or by a government department. A section 247 order removes all highway rights. Applications must be made to the relevant Government Office. Section 249 of the Act enables the extinguishment of the right to use vehicles on a highway where a local planning authority has resolved to adopt such a proposal in the interest of improving the amenity of part of their area. Section 252 of the Act sets out the procedure for making orders under sections 247 and 249. Proposed orders must be advertised to allow for objections to be made and a public inquiry to be held if necessary.
Under the provisions of section 116 of the Highways Act 1980 a magistrates court may make an order authorising the stopping up or diversion of a public highway on the grounds that it is unnecessary or can be diverted so as to make it nearer or more commodious to the public. Such an order removes all highway rights. An application for an 453W order. Persons aggrieved by the proposal to stop up or divert a highway under section 116 have a right to be heard by the court.