Road opening licence
Following the court ruling in the case brought between Calor Gas Limited and Norfolk County Council (CO/3161/2018) and in accordance with the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 Schedule 3, section 9, Surrey County Council will not issue s50 Street Works Licences for the installation of apparatus that "runs along the line of the street".
If in doubt please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Do I need a licence to open the public highway?
- What type of licence do I need?
- What are the terms and conditions?
- How do I apply for a licence?
- How much does the licence cost?
- What documentation and information is required?
- What if I have any queries, concerns or complaints?
Do I need a licence to open the public highway?
A private company or individual wishing to open (excavate) the public highway must have the appropriate licence from us. It is a criminal offence to carry out works on the public highway without a valid licence.
Anyone excavating or working on the highway must have suitable valid accreditation under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA) for the type of work they are carrying out and be on the Street Works Qualifications Register.
If you have a Section 278 agreement already in place, you do not require a separate licence for the highway modification works but you will need to apply for road space from our Street Works Team to be able to carry out the works. Please see our Traffic Management Permit Scheme page for further details. You will need a separate licence if you are installing, adjusting, removing or altering any apparatus with the area subject to the S278 agreement.
What type of licence do I need?
There are two types of licence we can grant for opening the public highway:
Section 50 Street Works Licence – This is a licence granted under Section 50 of NRSWA and is needed when a person or organisation wishes to place, or to retain, apparatus in the street, and thereafter to inspect, maintain, adjust, repair, alter or renew the apparatus, change its position or remove it. The street meaning highway maintainable at the public expense, commonly known as adopted highway and may include carriageway, footway and verge.
If on completion of the works the apparatus is to be adopted by a Statutory Undertaker then the licence application should be in the name of the works promoter. If we agree for un-adopted apparatus to be placed in the highway the licence application should be in the name of the main beneficiary of the apparatus who will then (or their successor/s) be responsible for the apparatus perpetuity.
Please take time to read the guidance notes carefully. Following them will enable us to process your application without undue delay.
Please note we also licence trial hole activities under this type of licence.
Section 184 Licence – This is needed when a person or organisation wishes to makes changes or improvements to the highway layout, this includes verge, footway and carriageway. Please do not apply for a Section 184 licence if you have a Section 278 agreement already.
What are the terms and conditions?
By making your s50/s184 licence application you are agreeing to abide by our terms and conditions. Please read them thoroughly.
How do I apply for a licence?
We need at least 30 working days notice between the date we receive a complete set of the documentation required and the date you wish to start work. This gives us time to carry out the necessary documentation checks and to ensure the dates requested are available.
If you require a temporary road closure to carry out either of the above type of works, we require that you submit the relevant closure application at least twelve weeks in advance of the date of your planned works and reference this on your application. We will not be able to process your request without this.
Please visit our Temporary Road Closures and Restrictions web page for more information.
How much does the licence cost?
A licence fee of £417 is payable for a Section 184 licence.
A Licence fee of £780.00 is payable for a Section 50 Licence.
We may undertake inspections of works at various times and costs for this are included in these licence fees.
We also require a payment of a bond which we hold until the end of the guarantee period (two or three years depending in depth of the excavation) when, provided that the works meet the standards required by the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 and no other monies are outstanding, we will refund in full.
|Excavation size||Under 1.5 metre depth||1.5 metre and over depth|
|Less than 10 sq. metres||£865||£1,297|
|10.1 to 15 sq. m||£1,585||£2,377|
|15.1 to 20 sq. m||£2,207||£3,310|
|20.1 to 25 sq. m||£2,871||£4,306|
For works where the area is over 25 square metres, please contact us via the email@example.com e-mail address with the length, width and depth of the proposed excavation so that we can advise of the bond value required.
Providing all the performance requirements of the New Roads & Street Works Act 1991(NRSWA) have been fully complied with, there will be no further charges in connection with these works.
Inspections will be carried out against the standards defined in the Specification for Reinstatement of Openings in the Highway (SROH) and the DfT publication Safety at Street Works and Road Works (The Red Book). Should works be found to be defective, each additional inspection required to check satisfactory repair will be charged at £48 each and the guarantee period may be reset.
What documentation and information is required to support an application?
- A local map of the area showing the location of works.
- Engineering details, including the expected size of the excavation (length, width and depth).
- Traffic management layout plan.
- Planning permission granted from the appropriate district or borough council, where applicable.
- Public liability insurance details for a minimum value of £10 million valid for the period of works.
- NRSWA accreditation for supervisor in the form of a copy of the front and back of SWQR card.
- NRSWA accreditation for operative in the form of a copy of the front and back of SWQR card.
- Connection approval from the relevant Statutory Undertaker - e.g. Water Industries S106 agreement.
When you have submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation e-mail which will confirm the above requirements and where to send them. Please only send when you have a complete set of the documentation required. We will not start processing your application until we have received a full set of documentation.
Sending incomplete documentation will slow the processing of your application.
What if I have any queries, concerns or complaints?
If you have queries about the licence, please contact us.
If you have any concerns about the location or safety of materials on the public highway, please report a highway problem to us.
Files available to download
- Street Works License Application - Guidance (PDF)
This PDF provides guidance on the Street Works License application process
- Street Works License Application - Terms and Conditions (PDF)
This PDF provides terms and conditions of Street Works Licenses
- Statutory Undertakers Contact Information (PDF)
Contact information for statutory undertakers
- Longitudinal Apparatus Policy (PDF)
Policy on longitudinal apparatus installation.