Terms and conditions for placing banners on, across or over the highway

We welcome applications from charities, community organisation and other similar or non-commercial organisations based within Surrey, to display notices of public interest or advertising events on a banner at one of our approved banner sites.

Site bookings

The following applies to banners on pedestrian guardrails and overhead banners.

Banner sites:

  • are only available for booking in one week blocks, running from Sunday to Sunday
  • a minimum of one week and maximum of two weeks per site may be requested
  • a maximum of two different sites can be applied for to promote a single event, but must be booked separately
  • can be booked up to one year before the event date

Banners must only be attached and removed on a Sunday. Banners should be attached after 12 midday and removed before 12 midday. This ensures there's no interference with any prior, or subsequent, licensed bookings at the site.

Terms and conditions for all banner sites


  • 'Applicant' means the person(s) or body to whom the consent or refusal will be directed and who will be responsible for the banner, the installation, maintenance and removal.
  • 'Council' or 'SCC' means Surrey County Council as the highway authority.

The following terms and conditions apply to all banner sites.

  • The fixing or placing of banners over the highway is unlawful without having first obtained the consent of Surrey County Council (SCC).
  • The relevant legislation may be found in the Highways Act 1980, section 178. Its purpose is to prevent, as far as possible, damage and injury to persons using the highway, which might arise if the placing of banners was unregulated.
  • Consent given by SCC under these provisions will therefore have attached to it a series of terms and conditions with regard to the fixing, placement, maintenance and removal of such items. The requirements are thought to be fair and reasonable, bearing in mind the need to protect the public and the applicant, and also in the event of any claim arising as a consequence of placement.
  • There may be circumstances in which SCC might refuse to give consent. In which case the reasons for refusal will be clearly given. An applicant may appeal to a magistrate's court, either against the refusal or against the terms and conditions required by SCC.
  • We will not give consent to any banner containing direct commercial or sponsorship advertising.
  • We will not accept applications for commercial organisations.
  • Banners may not be fixed to trees or lighting columns.
  • Charitable, community or other similar non-commercial organisations must only use the banner for notices of public interest and advertisement of events.
  • SCC may remove the banner if it becomes unsafe. The cost doing so may be recovered from the applicant.
  • Any banners found to be displayed with no licence or at non-approved sites will be taken down and retained.
  • SCC is under no obligation to permit any person(s) or organisations to display banners on the public highways.
  • The acceptance or refusal of a banner application is at the sole discretion of SCC, whose decision will be final.
  • SCC reserves the right to remove this service or to change the terms and conditions at any time.
  • Public Liability Insurance should insure against any liability from any accident arising out of, or in connection with, the display of the banner. The policy should be for the minimum sum of £10,000,000 limited to any one accident, unlimited in total and the interest of SCC in the policy should be noted.
  • You are advised to be certain that the organisation's insurance policy will cover you against any liability under this indemnity. The organisers of the banner and/or the committee of your organisation may be personally liable otherwise.
  • You and the members of your organisation's management will indemnify Surrey County Council against all costs, liabilities, claims and demands for which SCC may be liable arising directly or indirectly out of the exercise of this permission except where such costs, liabilities, claims and demands are due to the negligence of SCC, their servants or agents. (Approval of the insurance by SCC does not operate as any guarantee of the adequacy or enforceability of the policy).
  • Roadworks taking place may affect the availability of sites even if a booking has already been made. Applicants will be advised if this is the case.
  • Damage to sites or other unforeseen factors may affect your application. You will be contacted in the event of any changes.

Additional terms and conditions for overhead banner sites

  • Headroom: the minimum clearance to underside of banner/suspension cables from the highway surface must be;
    • Designated High Load Routes – 7.5m
    • Other carriageway and shared surfaces where vehicles have access – 5.7m
    • Footways, footpaths and areas restricted to pedestrians – 2.5m
    • Bridleways and horse margins – 3.5m
  • Suspension fixing points are typically found on the front elevation of buildings. The owners of the buildings are usually responsible for the fixings and making sure they are strong enough to take the loading imposed by the banner in all weather conditions. The building owners may possibly charge for the use of the fixings. There may be circumstances where a local authority is the owner of the fixings. A structural adequacy design certificate must be held by the owners and a certified copy produced to SCC. Such certificates are normally valid for a two-year period and must be renewed before expiry.
  • It is the responsibility of the banner applicants to satisfy themselves that the fixings certificate is current and to certify that fact to the Council as part of the application procedure.

Additional terms and conditions for pedestrian guardrail banner sites

  • The banner must be firmly secured with a form of fixing approved by SCC and inspected regularly for safety and security.
  • The banner must be produced to a professional standard and designed and displayed to minimize distraction to pedestrians and road users. A damaged or de-faced banner will be removed.
  • The banner must not be attached to, or interfere with, any street furniture other than the designated and marked guard rail. Street furniture includes lamp columns and road signs.
  • The banner must be no greater than 4 metres in length and 0.75 metres in height and must not overlap the markings on the designated guardrails.
  • Where a guardrail has a top visibility section, banners must be attached below the top section. Please see the image below as an example.

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