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Filming on the highway guidance

Apply to film an event on the highway

To apply to film on the public highway, applicants should read our filming on the highway guidance below and follow the appropriate process depending on the size of the production:

  • Small crewed productions (ie one camera filming a presenter) where minimal disruption to the public highway is expected and no traffic management is required should email the Highway Events Team with a description of their activity, risk assessment and map of location(s) where they wish to film.
  • Larger productions and production where traffic management is required must complete the Filming on the Highway application form and return it with associated documents to the Highway Events Team.


1. Filming on the highway guidance - introduction

Within Cambridgeshire, numerous requests are received to authorise the use of the highway for filming purposes, or to park vehicles on the highway whilst filming takes place. We recognise the positive contribution film and TV production can make to the local area with particular regard to economic benefits and enhancing tourist interest in the locality.

As the Highway Authority, we wish to ensure the process and procedure for carrying out filming activity on the public highway is transparent and efficient while also being fair and equitable to users of the highway to minimise disruption. This guidance aims to outline the best practices which all film makers should adhere to when intending to film on the Cambridgeshire highway.

2. Obligations and good practices

  1. No filming activity should be undertaken without obtaining permission from all relevant parties.

  2. Consultation must take place with all those affected by filming at least 28 days prior to filming unless by agreement with the Highway Authority and Environmental Health if filming includes night time shoots, use of lights, sound, or chemicals.

  3. Wherever possible consultation should take place after the initial location recce and no later than 28 days in advance of the filming start date.

  4. If the filming production requires any form of traffic management then Cambridgeshire County Council must be informed 12 weeks in advance of the filming start date by the submission of the filming events production application form and associated traffic management plans.

  5. It is the production company’s responsibility to ensure any disruption to residents and business caused is kept to an absolute minimum and acceptable arrangements are made to replace any services suspended as a result of the filming activity.

  6. Access for emergency services vehicles must be maintain at all times.

  7. Film-makers on location are visitors and should be sensitive to the community in which they are working. Members of the public should be treated with courtesy and consideration at all times.

  8. It is the responsibility of the production company to ensure that its employees and contractors are in compliance with current health and safety regulations when filming on location.

  9. Parking of vehicles associated with the filming must be pre-arranged and all vehicles should adhere to the legislation in place at the location.

3. Application process

  1. Cambridgeshire County Council must be informed of any filming activity that is requesting to take place on the public highway within Cambridgeshire. This includes any roads, footpaths and public rights of ways.

  2. Evidence of public liability insurance to the value of £10,000,000 for any one event must be submitted.

  3. A risk assessment of each filming location should be submitted upon application.

  4. A traffic management plan should be included with your Filming Event application form if your activity involves any form of traffic control. This includes the stopping/holding of pedestrians and cyclists on the public highway.

  5. All other relevant parties, including local authorities and land owners must be informed and grant the relevant licenses and permissions before filming commences.

  6. Written evidence that the appropriate licenses and permissions are in place must be submitted to Cambridgeshire County Council no later than 21 days prior to the filming start date.

  7. The emergency services must be informed of the film activity and issued with details submitted in the Filming Event application form as well as any additional information requested. Further advice should be sought if the activity contains any of the following:

    a. Special effects and stunts
    b. The staging of a crime, accident or the use of firearms
    c. The dressing or impersonation of any person associated with the activity in emergency services uniform.
    d. Filming that depicts personnel of a controversial nature.
    e. Filming with animals and children

Emergency access must be maintained at all times during set up, filming and set down.

4. Consultation with residents and businesses

  1. The initial consultation with all residents and business affected by the filming activity should take place as early as possible. Initial consultation should never take place later than 28 days prior the filming start date.

  2. The following details must be included in all consultation documentation:
    a. Name of the production company
    b. Type of production (e.g. documentary, feature film)
    c. Name of location manager
    d. 24 hour contact telephone number

  3. Written notification to all residents and business in the form of a letter drop, must occur in addition to the above no later than 7 days prior to the filming start date at each location.

  4. The production company is responsible for recompensing any loss incurred by residents and/or businesses, although this must be determined between the production company and property owner. Cambridgeshire County Council does not accept liability.

  5. The production company must ensure that location owners and adjacent property owners are kept fully informed of the intentions of the production company whether or not they are used for filming.

  6. Noise must be kept to a minimum at all times. Separate permission to make noise during unsociable hours 10pm to 8am must be obtained from a City/District Council Environmental Health Noise Control Team. Use of generators has to be approved, and silent running generators will be required.

Access to private property must be maintained, and no footways blocked unless with permission by a highway officer and an alternative safe route must be provided, with disabled access.

5. Traffic management and street furniture

  1. If the filming activity requires traffic management, a traffic management plan must be submitted no later than 12 weeks in advance of the filming start date.

  2. All traffic management must be installed and controlled by qualified individuals. A list of acceptable qualifications can be found with the Highway Events application guidance.

  3. All signage and barriers placed on the public highway must comply with the Traffic Sign Regulations and General Direction (TSRGD) Act 2016 on the website.

  4. Any alteration to the public highway will require permission from Cambridgeshire County Council before they are undertaken. 12 weeks’ notice is required to review any request to alter the highway.

  5. Any removal and reinstatement of street furniture must be undertaken by Cambridgeshire County Council and its associated contractor. Additional fees will apply for this service.

  6. The public highway must be fully reinstated to its previous form and condition before the highway is reopened.

  7. The highway event filming applicant is fully liable for any damage caused to the highway or street furniture as a result of the filming activities.

  8. Cranes, cherry pickers and any other object placed on the public highway (including footpaths and bridle ways) must be signed and guarded appropriately in accordance with Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual. Additional permits for these objects will be required.

6. Other considerations

  1. For Cambridgeshire County Council services fees may apply and will be communicated with you as part of the application process.

  2. Licences, permits and permissions – depending on your filming activities, additional licences, permits or permissions may be required from our partners or outside agencies. These licenses may take additional time to obtain therefore consideration needs to be given in order for you to meet the timeframes outlined in this policy.

  3. Additional costs – Cambridgeshire County Council is unable to provide quotations for services outside of its control, for example rental of land it does not own therefore research should be undertaken to ensure your requirements are suitable for your budget.

  4. Removal of public services – if your activity requires the diversion of a bus route or removal of cycle racks additional time will be required in order for you to meet the time frames outlined in the policy.

  5. Prolonged periods of filming – extra consideration must be given to the impact to the location and the effect it is likely to have. For example the parking of large production vehicles daily outside of a business premises.

7. Maintaining the agreement

Production companies must adhere to the following agreement:

  1. Production Vehicles must park within the designated area (permission to be sought in advance) and be appropriately badged. Failure to do so might result in the removal of the vehicle, and filming permission may be withdrawn.

  2. Refreshments must be taken in the agreed location and catering facilities and waste disposal methods agreed in advance.

  3. Crew and cast must not trespass on neighbouring property, or enter an area of the location that the owner has strictly forbidden.

  4. Consistent failure to adhere to the agreement may result in permission being revoked and future applications to film within the area being refused.

Guidance for completing the application form

We have outlined recommended timescales, fees, procedure and how to complete the Highway Event Filming application form. If you have any further questions or require clarification on any area, please email


  • All applications that require traffic management must be received a minimum of 12 weeks prior to the filming start date. This is to ensure that we have enough time to assess your requirements.
  • Applications that do not require traffic management must be submitted at least 6 weeks in advance of the filming start date.


  • For commercial filming a charge of £1,000 will apply.
  • For all filming events we reserve the right to charge a maximum of £250 for staffing costs. These will be calculated using the impact matrix below.
  • Charges (minus any advertising costs) for your permission to film in Cambridgeshire will be communicated to you upon receiving your completed application form.
  • All charges are subject to periodic review by the Council.
  • Additional charges will apply for items such as the removal of street furniture, oversail licenses, control of street lighting etc.

Impact matrix

Scores are shown in brackets.

Crew size Highway restriction(s) Duration of highway restrictions
Small 1 - 5 (0) None (0) 0 - 5 hours (0)
Medium 6 - 11 (1) One - Three (1) 5 - 12 hours (1)
Large 11 - 29 (2) Three - Ten (2) 12 - 48 hours (2)
Major 30+ (3) Ten+ (3) 48 hours + (3)

Duration of highway restrictions are calculated by taking the time the first restrictions starts to the time the final restriction is lifted i.e. If restriction A starts at 09:00 and finishes at 12:00 but restriction B starts at 10:00 and is finished at 13:00 the duration would be 09:00 until13:00 thus 4 hours of restrictions.

Staff costing

Impact score Staff cost
0 - 2 £0
3 - 5 £50
6 - 8 £100
9 £250

Filming support

If you are looking for a location or need studio space, facilities or crew, Creative England may be able to help.

Creative England is the national agency providing a free support service for productions shooting outside of London. Creative England's Production Services team provides a free film office service to productions filming in England, outside London, to create investment, jobs and profile. Working in partnership with the British Film Commission to promote England internationally, Creative England is the one-stop shop for locations, studios, facilities and crew.

For more information, please contact your local Production Liaison Manager – Hayley Armstrong – on 020 8324 2311 or email

Terms and conditions

  1. The applicant will be responsible for any costs incurred for the signing, running and control of the highway activity and for informing all the necessary people and agencies about the activity.

  2. The applicant must directly contact any businesses, including car parks that will be affected by the road closure and communicate any issues to no later than 28 days prior to the event.

  3. The organisers must place and maintain a copy of any permission made by Cambridgeshire County Council at each end of the street or streets where highways activity is due to take place making sure that they are clearly visible to passers-by.

  4. All event signage must be removed immediately after the conclusion of the event. Failure to do so will result in Cambridgeshire County Council removing the signage and you, as the event organiser being invoiced for the service.

  5. All highways activity must be signed in accordance with Chapter 8 of the Traffic Sign Manual and any barriers/signs erected must comply with the Traffic Sign Regulations and General Direction (TSRGD) Act 2016 on the website and must be controlled by a qualified steward at all times.

  6. Access for emergency services must be maintained at all times

  7. Organisers must indemnify Cambridgeshire County Council against any claim arising from the holding of this event. It is a requirement that organisers are insured against any Third Party claims for up to £10,000,000 that may be made against them. Proof must be provided.

  8. The applicant must comply with the Cambridgeshire County Council Filming Policy.

Application process

  1. Identify your location
  2. Is it on the public highway or council owned?
  3. If on the public highway, complete a filming events application form and send to at least 12 weeks prior to the filming start date with the associated documents - a copy of the risk assessment, traffic management plans and public liability insurance.
  4. Attend a site meeting, if required, with the highways officer, police and any other interested party.
  5. Make contact with local businesses, residents, emergency services, parish / district councillors.
  6. Filming is approved and requests for payments are sent.
  7. Obtain all required licenses, permits and permissions - send them to Cambridgeshire County Council Highways no later than 21 days prior to filming start date.
  8. Relevant permissions are sent to applicant.
  9. Distribute final notification letter - no later than 7 days prior to the filming start date, to all residents and businesses effected by the order. The communication must include the name of the production company, type of production, name of location manager, 24 hour contact telephone number and details of the measures in place to minimise the disruption.

Sections on the application form

 1. Applicants details

Please ensure all sections are completed accurately with up to date contact details so that any issues that may arise can be dealt with quickly.

2. Filming details

  • Time and date of event - enter the complete filming timeframe
  • Purpose of filming:
    Charity - filming that is 100% not for profit - charity name and registration number is required
    Community - filming that is for the benefit of the local community. They may have a commercial element and charges may apply.
    Commercial events - any filming that is for a commercial venture
  • Description of film / scene - ie "walking and talking scene from the market square to the entrance of the guildhall"
  • How many cast, crew and extras - please provide accurate details of the numbers of cast, crew and extras at each filming location
  • Parking arrangements - include details of where your production vehicles are to be parked and any parking bay suspensions you have arranged. You can arrange these through
  • Breakout area - include details of the location, capacity, catering and disposal of waste that you have in place at this area.
  • Street furniture - give a description and date for removal and reinstallation of each item you wish to be removed and include photographs with your application.

Please provide evidence of your contact with residents, local businesses, parish and town councils, and emergency services.

Remember it is the applicant's responsibility to inform all interested parties known to be directly affected by the restrictions including all frontages on the length of road concerned. Failure to do so may result in your permissions being withdrawn.

3. Restriction details of all highways affected

  • Highway refers to all roads, footpaths and bridleways
  • If you believe your filming is not taking place across any of the above please still list the events location i.e. School playing field, March
  • If you do not require any highway restrictions for your filming but your activity is taking place on the highway please still complete this section as we require the information to check for any street work activity in your desired area.
  • Please note ‘see attached map’ (or anything similar) is not an acceptable answer in this section and your form will be returned to you as unsuccessful.


Road name / number Type of restriction (stop/go boards, parking suspension, cables on the highway) From where to where? Start time End time
Duck Lane, Haddenham Stop / go boards Junction of Perry Close to junction of the High Street 12:00 14:00
Duck Lane, Haddenham Parking suspension Outside number 52 09:00 15:00

4. Additional order information

On the form, you will need to select which of the three options will be supplying the traffic management for your event.

Qualified individual

Please supply copies of their qualifications. The following supervisor or operative qualifications comply with the current code of practice:

  • City & Guilds 6156 Unit 10 – monitoring, signing, lighting & guarding (NRSWA Supervisory accreditation)
  • City & Guilds 6156 Unit 2 – Signing lighting & guarding (NRSWA Supervisory accreditation)
  • Lantra Awards SSD12A – General Operative
  • Lantra Awards SSD12B – General Operative
  • Lantra Awards SSD12C – General Operative
  • Lantra Awards SSD12A,B,C – Foreman
  • Lantra Awards – Traffic Management at Community Events (TMCE)
Traffic management company

Please submit the contact details for the operatives at the event as well as a prior contact.

Police attendance

If you have the police attending, written confirmation of their support with traffic management will be required before any permission can be issued.

Event organiser's responsibility

It is the event organiser’s responsibility to ensure that appropriately accredited operators only are employed to place signage on the highway network.

5. Additional comments

  • Details of why your filming activity needs to be held on the Highway must be included in this section.
  • Please provide any additional details about your filming here. This may include:
    A description of how the filming activity will take place. i.e. on the ground camera with lights on a scaffold platform
    Reasoning behind the filming
    Any other information you feel may be relevant

6. Payment details

  • If you wish to be invoiced for the event charges, please provide accurate information on the form.
  • If you prefer to pay by cheque or credit / debit card, please indicate this by ticking the relevant box on the form.

7. Confirmation

Please print, sign and date on the form to confirm you accept the terms and conditions outlined in this policy.

8. Checklist

On the form, read each line carefully and indicate that you have agreed and / or included the required evidence for each item.

Contact the Highway Events Team


If you need help with accessing any of the information or completing the application forms, please get in touch.