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Cambridgeshire Permit Scheme for Street Works

Consultation on Special Engineering Difficulty Designations

National Highways has commissioned a project to capture all the bridges and structures which interact with the local authority road network that they are responsible for maintaining. The purpose of this is to facilitate collaboration and coordination between local authorities, National Highways and utilities when works are taking place in and around those structures as prescribed in the New Roads and Street Works Act (NRSWA) (1991).

Whenever a utility company or highway authority (or any other body) is working in a street, work must be carried out with due care. Among other things, consideration needs to be given to the safety of

  • road users, the operatives on site and the general public
  • any adjacent property
  • the infrastructure of the street itself including any associated structures
  • any apparatus carried under or over the street

A street can be given a formal designation of Special Engineering Difficulty* and the criteria for designation of a street or structure as SED points to the risk of very serious consequences if damaged. By way of example, that could be the collapse of a structure or major loss of supply of utility services; that would have a direct effect on many people from the collapse or loss of supply, but there would also be significant delays to road users while the problem is sorted out and repairs completed.

*Further information about Special Engineering Difficulties can be found in the following advice note released by the Highway Authorities & Utility Committee (HAUC) (UK) (opens as a pdf)

As prescribed in legislation across England and Wales, the designation of a street with Special Engineering Difficulty is subject to a formal 30 day consultation. Your organisation is a statutory consultee.

Please see the supporting consultation documentation below which includes an interactive pdf with a map-based schedule detailing:

  1. the location of bridges and structures that will be subject to the designation highway authority area
  2. streets that will be designated as having Special Engineering Difficulties

The consultation has now closed. No objections or comments were received.

Proposed changes will be made to the Local Street Gazetteer in the near future.

The streets that have been identified in the document below would be given a formal designation of Special Engineering Difficulty on 2 May 2022

Any activity undertaken in a street has the potential to cause disruption. They can reduce the width of the street available to traffic, pedestrians and other users, causing inconvenience to businesses and local residents. Cambridgeshire County Council introduced the Cambridgeshire permit scheme on October 2016.

Under a Permit Scheme, those responsible for road and street works will have to apply for permission before they start the work (apart from emergency work where they have to apply for a permit within 2 hours).

Cambridgeshire County Council will grant, refuse or tailor the application; taking into considerations works already in progress and demands on the network. The permit will have a list of specific conditions that the utility companies and their workforce have to adhere to. These may include working hours or the way they control the traffic around the works to benefit the highway users.

The scheme has been developed in compliance with the Department for Transport's Guidance and National Condition Text. Please see documents below.

Size: 1.41MBFile format: pdf
Size: 419KBFile format: pdf
Permit Fees Table 2024148KBpdf
Size: 148KBFile format: pdf
Size: 779KBFile format: pdf
Size: 49KBFile format: pdf

Section 58 Restrictions

Below are the current proposed Section 58 restrictions on the public highway within Cambridgeshire. Section 58 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 refers to restrictions following substantial road works like resurfacing or reconstruction of the public highway. It prevents statutory undertakers from completing works that would cause disturbance to the highway surface without prior approval.

Traffic Sensitive Streets review

In early 2018, we completed a review of our most traffic sensitive streets. This review, last undertaken in the 1990s, helps us understand the constraints and pressures on our highway network. 

Following this review, below are the amendments to the traffic sensitivity of Cambridgeshire’s highway network.

In April 2023, regulations came into force that changed the traffic sensitive criteria. We have reviewed our traffic sensitive streets and no changes are proposed as the criteria that have been removed were not used to designate streets as traffic sensitive when we carried out our 2018 amendments.

Traffic Sensitive Review 2023179KBpdf
Size: 179KBFile format: pdf
Traffic Sensitive Review 20182.77MBexcel
Size: 2.77MBFile format: excel

Cambridgeshire Permit Evaluation

The following reports detail the income, expenditure, Key Performance Indicators and successes demonstrated through the management of roadworks and street works in Cambridgeshire.