Thursday, 18 December 2014

Royal seal of approval for filming on the highway

Legal red tape has been officially cut to help movie directors who want to film on Buckinghamshire's roads.

Yesterday (Wednesday December 17) Royal Assent was granted to Buckinghamshire County Council's Filming on Highways Bill to provide extra powers to close roads and footpaths for filming.

Buckinghamshire is home to 22 production companies making features, animation, TV digital production and corporate films. The County Council has always worked to support the film industry, recognising it as an important part of the local economy.

Being close to Pinewood Studios, and within easy reach of London's television and film production companies, Buckinghamshire is a favourite location for the producers and directors.

But until now, traffic regulations have allowed roads to be closed only for 'relevant' sporting, social or entertainment events, and there has long been uncertainty as to whether filming falls under this definition.

The County Council has in the past risked being challenged if roads were closed for filming, but the new Act removes any uncertainty about its legal powers from now onwards.

Anne Davies, Head of Legal for the County Council, said: 'The new powers will be an enormous help in cutting red tape to make Buckinghamshire more attractive to the film industry, which in turn will benefit the local economy.'

The Private Bill was promoted by the County Council through the House of Lords. It received its third and final reading in November this year.