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What is the difference between a Traffic Management Plan (TMP) and a Traffic Guidance Scheme (TGS)

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Cutting Through the Confusion

When planning any construction project or event that affects road usage in Victoria, New South Wales, or Queensland, Traffic Guidance Schemes (TGS) - sometimes referred to as Traffic Control Plans in NSW - and Traffic Management Plans (TMP) are crucial components of any permit application. The problem is that many road authorities (Council and/or State) use the terms interchangeably leading to a lot of confusion for our clients - this is a conversation we have almost every day! To that end, we though we would write a quick explaIner on the differences between TGS & TMPs. Let’s simplify the differences between the two.


What is a Traffic Guidance Scheme (TGS)?

A Traffic Guidance Scheme (TGS) is like a map or blueprint (generally a 1-2 page drawing or diagram) that shows how signs, barriers, and other tools will be used to guide drivers and pedestrians safely around a work site or event. Kind of like a site plan but for traffic control devices. Think of it as a visual guide, helping our clients and/or traffic control team understand where to place traffic control devices and how best to manage traffic through the changed road conditions.


For instance, if you’re planning to have a driveway or crossover constructed, a TGS will be required as part of the permit application. The TGS will identify where cones, signs and traffic controllers should be placed, ensuring that both construction workers and passing drivers and vulnerable road users know how to move safely during the project.


Why TGS Matters

  • Clear Visuals: TGS provides a clear picture of traffic control arrangements, making it easy for everyone to understand and be on the same page.

  • Adaptable: Every project is different, and all our TGSs are site-specific and so are tailored to meet the specific needs of our client's projects.

  • Safety Compliance: TGS methodology is strictly governed by a range of state and national standards and guidelines, helping reduce risks and protect all users.


A Traffic Guidance Scheme example. No client details.
TGS: De-identified TGS recently produced for a client

What about Traffic Management Plans (TMP)?

A Traffic Management Plan (TMP) is a broader document or report, often in excess of 40 pages depending on the complexity of the project, that not only includes the TGS but also details how traffic will be handled throughout the entire project or event. In addition, a TMP will detail the broader effects of a project or event on the surrounding road network throughout each stage of the project. It’s like a master plan ensuring that traffic disruptions are minimized, and everyone’s safety is prioritized.


TMP considers various aspects like the type of work being done, access to site, how deliveries to site are handled and the preferred approach/exit route of construction vehicles, how much traffic is usually in the area, where workers are proposed to park, the duration of the project, and any potential risks - essentially providing a complete strategy for managing traffic effectively and efficiently for the duration of the project.


Why TMP Matters

  • Comprehensive Planning: TMP offers an all-encompassing approach to traffic coordination and safety during projects.

  • Risk Planning: Identifies and plans for potential issues, enhancing safety for workers and the public.

  • Coordinated Approach: Helps everyone involved work together smoothly and efficiently.


Traffic Management Plan (TMP) page overview from pdf viewer
TMP: Page overview of a portion of one of our most recent TMPs

Wrapping Up

In essence, while the TGS is a visual guide showing how traffic will flow around a work area, the TMP is a comprehensive report intended to show how traffic is to be managed smoothly and safely from start to finish. Whether you’re a construction professional or a homeowner planning a small project, understanding your obligations and deciphering the often confusing terminology of permit authorities, can help ensure that your project runs smoothly with minimal disruption to you and the surrounding community



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