Street works licence (Section 50)

Anyone needing to excavate in the highway to place apparatus in connection with their personal needs e.g. computer links or service ducts, requires a licence.

This licence excludes statutory undertakers who are licensed by the Department of Trade and Industry (water, gas or electricity boards or telecoms companies)



Completed forms should be received at least one month before the start date of any proposed works. It is advisable to discuss your needs with an Engineer before applying.

Application evaluation

An Engineer will inspect the site and provide advice on the proposed works. Further guidance for applicants is available by contacting us on the details below.

Applicants are required to provide proof of public liability insurance and a scale plan of the works

Eligibility Criteria

The applicant or the contractor employed will need a minimum of £5,000,000 (five million pounds) Public Liability Indemnity Insurance and hold the relevant accreditation for working in the highway.

If planning permission is required for the work, this should be obtained before applying for the licence.

The Street Works Licence does not replace the need for other permissions to be sought e.g. permission from the water company to connect to their sewers would still be needed.

Offences and penalties

Failure to apply for a licence before starting any works, is an offence under the Highways Act 1980 and the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. Any breach of this requirement may result in prosecution with the full recovery of all costs involved and removal of any equipment installed during those works.

Contact us

Report a problem online

If you consider a highways issue to be dangerous, or an emergency, please call us on:

0300 123 5020
(8:30am – 5:00pm)

0300 123 5025
(after 5pm and before 8:30am, including weekends)

Floor 6
Delamere House

Delamere Street Crewe

Page last reviewed: 05 October 2020