A Pedal Power ACT cycle-ride special event is a planned cycling activity that requires approval from the appropriate authorities. Typically it is wholly or partly conducted on a road (or a road-related area such as car parks) requiring special traffic management arrangements, and usually involves a large number of participants and/or spectators.

A cycle-ride special event normally:

  • is advertised to the public
  • is conducted wholly or partly on a public road (or a road-related area such as a car park)
  • may affect or disrupt normal traffic flow
  • may require special traffic management arrangements
  • usually involves a large number of participants and/or spectators

However, for all events on roads, even if they are not special events, a risk management approach should be taken; eg, all participants should be made aware that they are required to follow all road rules.

Pedal Power ACT Council approval is required for a cycle-ride special event before proceeding with seeking approval from the appropriate authorities – contact the Executive Officer.

On this page are some guides as to organising approvals for special events in

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Australian Capital Territory special event

In the ACT a special event (in traffic management terms) is any planned activity that is wholly or partly conducted on a road (or a road-related area such as car parks), requires special traffic management arrangements, and usually involves a large number of participants and / or spectators. The definition also applies to events conducted within a venue such as sports, cultural and recreational events if the event disrupts normal traffic flow.

Approval for a special event in the ACT is obtained from the ACT Territories and Municipal Services.

The ‘ACT Special event handbook’ contains the requirements for obtaining approval for special events in the ACT.

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Australian Capital Territory use of land for an event

Authority to have an event on a public road (including a road reserve) is covered by the special event approval.

Authority to use other land for an event (eg, for start-finish areas, feeding station, etc) is obtained from the land manager who may be:

Approval for events on national land is obtained from NCA

Approval is required for events and activities conducted on unleased Territory Land regardless of their size or complexity. This includes large private functions or organised community events held in any public areas in the ACT, including the City Centre and suburban shopping areas or any of the urban parks, reserves or forest areas.

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New South Wales special event

In NSW 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 are 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.

Approval for a special event in NSW is a multi-agency process involving Road and Maritime Services, local authorities and the police.

The ‘NSW Special events guide’ gives the multi-agency approach to managing traffic and transport for special events in NSW. It was written for event organisers, venue managers, police, councils, the Road and Marine Services and anyone else with an interest in traffic and transport management for special events. The guide points out statutory requirements where they exist and makes best-practice recommendations where they do not.

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Victoria special event

Victoria does not have ‘special events’ as such.

In Victoria any on-road cycling event that involves more that 30 participants is likely to require approval.

Details of the approval requirements and process are in the document ‘On-road cycling events – a guide to obtaining approval‘.

Recreational events (with more than 30 participants), such as commercial tours or similar activities, fund raising rides or similar activities that are on public roads, require approval from all local councils that the event passes through and VicRoads if the event in conducted on a freeway, highway, tourist road, forest road or main road.

In Victoria any person wanting to conduct races or competitions, other than car races, that are on or involve a public road, such as marathons and fun-runs, must obtain a permit if the event involves more than 30 competitors and one of the competitors will be declared a winner at the conclusion of the event.

Details are on the Victoria Police website

Pedal Power ACT cycle tours and events do not involve races or time trials and do not have any ‘winners’.
So your proposed event in Victoria should not require an application to the police to conduct a race on a public road.

Even if the event does not meet the strict requirements for requiring formal approval, it is wise, if the event is likely to seriously affect road traffic, to contact the local councils and advise them of the proposal before finalising the event.

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Queensland special event

In Queensland a special event is an event that is wholly or generally of a public nature, uses or affects the operation of public roads requires full or partial road closures or altered traffic conditions and involves some inconsistency with the usual operation of the Queensland Road Rules.

Special events can be:

  • Cycling races, triathlons, foot races, fun runs and walks or similar activities that are wholly or partly conducted on public roads
  • Recreational events, such as large commercial tours, community rides or walks and fund raising rides/walks, or similar activities that are wholly or partly conducted on public roads or affect the operation of adjacent roads.

By Queensland law, event organisers are required to apply for Police approval to conduct special events. The consent of the road owners is also required.

Details of the requirements for special events and the approval process are on the Queensland Police website.

Pedal Power ACT cycle tours and events do not involve races or time trials.
So your proposed tour or event in Queensland, unless it is a large commercial tour or community ride, should not require an application to the Queensland Police to conduct the tour or event on a public road.

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Western Australia events on public roads

In Western Australia permission is required to hold and event on a public road if it requires temporary traffic management facilities, including road closure, or involves people riding not in accordance with the road traffic rules (eg, in wide peletons). Permission may be required from Main Roads Western Australia for events on main roads, the Western Australia Police and/or local government for other roads.

Generally in Western Australia a bike ride that is not a race and does not require traffic management and requires participants to obey the road traffic rules will not require approval.

However, for very large group rides (e.g. with over 100 people) in Western Australia it is advisable to first talk with Main Roads WA and/or the relevant Local Government.

Details are on the Western Australia Police website and the Main Roads WA website.

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Last modified JW 12 May 2016

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Pedal Power ACT accepts event submissions for display on our calendar if it meets required standards.

To submit your event for consideration, please fill out Pedal Power ACT's event submission form.

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