One way or another…filming on one way streets

This month, I wanted to talk about my experience of trying to and closing one-way streets for filming. Spoiler – Just to say it is possible to close or hold traffic on a one-way street – you just might have to work slightly harder for it.

Did you know? The one-way street was actually created by American – William Phelps Eno in the early 1900’s, first starting on a few streets in New York then Boston followed by Paris. In the London Borough of Lambeth, there are around 70 one-way streets.

Often you may think as a Location Manager;

– One-way streets….there will be less traffic and quieter?
– I will get more control of the street and won’t have multiple holds which will save our production money?

I would think again…!

From my experience, one-way streets can be quite challenging to control and often get rejected for a full closure. In some local authorities, they can be controlled by what is known as a 15-minute wait or “temporary obstruction” A temporary obstruction is a short-term road closure. This can only be used within a time certain time period depending on where you are filming. Check with whatever council, borough or local authority you are looking to get traffic management control.
If for example, you need a car pulling over the curb and a character walking out of the car – you could probably do it in this short timeframe (probably not if you have dolly & track all over the road).

Organisations like FilmFixer (representing a number of boroughs for film requests in London) and the expertise of The Movie Lot Group Ltd in Traffic Management Plans have certainly helped me over the years.

If you are unsure and need help with looking for a fully controllable road, please contact us.

Oliver Laurenson-Gore – Location Manager & Scout
Tel: 07845 699110 / 020 4524 6399

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