Accessibility Statement
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Working in the Public Highway/Opening Up the Highway Notices


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Public Highway?

The public highway generally consists of the road surface - the carriageway, and the pavement - the footway.

Who can work in the Highway?

Public Utilities (e.g. gas, electric and water companies) have statutory undertakings provide services and may break open and work in the highway under these powers.

Contractors can work on behalf of these companies provided that they have the relevant training and accreditation (Health and Safety and insurances etc.).

Why would anyone need to work in the Public Highway?

The Public Utilities need to maintain their equipment and builders may need to work in the highway to connect to the public sewer (permission is also required from the relevant water authority).

Generally the only reason private households would require work to be done in the highway would be to create vehicular access by dropping the level of the kerb and reconstructing the footway to take vehicular traffic (see the Kerb Dropping section for more details).

Do I need permission?

Permission is required to work in the highway and the work must be completed by an accredited contractor. The contractor will deal with the application form and advise on the relevant fees.

Please refer to: Highways opening up notice permit (0.49MB)

What is a S50 licence?

A S50 is a street works licence used to give consent to place or retain apparatus in the adopted highway and thereafter to inspect, maintain, adjust, repair, alter or renew the apparatus, change its position or remove e.g. installing a sewer, electrical cables, water pipes or working on existing apparatus.

Section 50 - £584

Other Sections:

This is for non-excavation works – Typically used to provide consent to install traffic management on the highway. Required to enable the general duty of Highway Authority to co-ordinate works.

Section 59 - £100
Section 171 - £316
  •  Consent required to open up/excavate the highway, e.g. dropped kerbs, resurfacing works.
SWL3 - S171 Application for Consent to Open up the Highway

We also have a TTRO application form –
  •  Used for road closures when a street manager permit has been submitted
Application for TTRO 2023-24

Will I need temporary portable traffic signals?

Accredited contractors will be aware if temporary traffic control signals are required.

Application for Temporary Traffic Lights 

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Contact Information
Contact by Post

Engineering and Environmental Health
Tame Street Depot
Tame Street
SK15 1ST