What UK Road Traffic Legislation Applies to MOD Establishments?

Private Land

Ministry of Defence (MOD) sites are private land and, therefore, traffic laws only apply as they would to any other private land.

However, some sites may have public roads going through them and road traffic legislation would apply to those roads.

The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (as amended)

It is possible for an order to be made under s.131 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 that applies certain of the road traffic laws to Crown Roads.

For example, Queen’s Avenue and Alison’s Road in Aldershot, are both Crown Roads and have had part of the Road Traffic Acts applied to them through such an order.

The Military Lands Act 1892

Another way road traffic can be regulated is through military byelaws.

These are made by the Secretary of State under the Military Lands Act 1892.

Road Traffic Legislation and Commanding Officers

A Commanding Officer (CO) cannot apply road traffic laws to an MOD site or dis-apply them to roads to which they already apply.

A CO can give orders, but such an order only applies to:

  • Service personnel; and
  • Civilians subject to service law.

Such orders would not apply to members of the public.

If no such legislation does apply to MOD establishments, how is road traffic regulated?

Where there is a need to regulate road traffic then:

  • Military byelaws can be made;
  • An order applying relevant parts of the road traffic legislation to the MOD road in question; or
  • Another option is for the road to be dedicated as a highway.


FOI 2019/01609 dated 28 February 2019.


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