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Storage of materials on the highway licence

You need a licence before you can place building materials or equipment on a public road, verge or pavement. A licence is valid for up to 14 days and costs £55.00.

You will need public liability insurance in place (minimum of £5 million).

When we receive your application, we consider the following:

  • Traffic on the road where you want the material
  • Danger and disruptions caused
  • Width of the road and pavement
  • Access to surrounding property
  • Planned or existing roadworks

We may visit the site whilst the materials are in place to make sure our safety requirements are met.

Apply online

Conditions for the temporary placing of materials on the highway


  1. It is an offence to place materials on the highway without prior approval in writing from the Highway Authority.

  2. Applicants should note that special conditions may be imposed by the Highway Authority:

    a. To minimise the inconvenience to persons using the street, having particular regard to people with a disability.

    b. For Traffic Sensitive Streets, Street with Special Engineering Difficulties and Protected Streets.

  3. The materials owner shall:

    a. Indemnify the Authority against any liability, loss, claim or proceedings whatsoever arising under statute or common law in respect of the placing, and maintaining of materials on the highway, or their removal there from.

    b. Provide proof of public liability insurance of a minimum of £5m cover for the period of the licence.

    c. Allow at least five working days between the date or receipt of this application by the Highway Authority and the proposed date on which the licence is required to commence as a site visit may be required.

    d. Only deposit and remove materials on the highway between the hours of 08.00 and 20.00 on all days, except on any Traffic Sensitive Street where delivery and removal will not be permitted between 07.00 and 09.30 or 16.00 and 18.00.

  4. Licences will only be granted for up to a maximum of 24 weeks. Licence renewal will be required every 14 days.

  5. A person aggrieved by the refusal of consent under Subsection 3 of Section 171 of the Highway Act 1980 may appeal to a Magistrates Court against the refusal.

  6. Separate licences are required to excavate the highway, deposit skips, erect scaffolds and hoardings, and operate cranes and access platforms on the highways.

Materials specification

7. The materials shall not:

a. Consist of any inflammable, explosive, noxious or dangerous material which is likely to putrefy or become a nuisance to the users of the highway.

b. Cover an area in excess of 3 metres in length and 2 metres in width, inclusive of barriers.

8. The materials shall prominently display an information board with the owner’s name and 24 hour emergency telephone number.

Position of materials

9. The materials shall not:

a. Be placed on the highway so as to contravene any requirements of a Traffic Regulation Order.

b. Restrict the width of any carriageway to less than 3.25 metres, except in the case of any classified or Traffic Sensitive Street where the unobstructed width exceed 6.75 metres.

c. Impede the surface water drainage of the highway.

d. Obstruct access to other premises, fire hydrants, gullies and manholes or any apparatus belonging to a Statutory Undertaker or Highway Authority.

e. Partly or wholly obstruct a footway without prior approval in writing from the Highway Authority. Where such approval is granted, a 1.2 metres wide pedestrian walkway must be guarded by barriers and lamped at night.

10. All materials placed on the highway shall be securely restrained at all times and placed on a membrane to prevent staining and or damage to the surface of the highway.

11. No chemical products, including hydrocarbons, shall be stored on grass verges, shrub borders, and other unpaved areas or in the proximity of trees.

12. No hot material shall be placed on the highway surface except when special provision is made to prevent damage by heat, i.e. boards and sand carpets.

13. The materials shall be clearly visible to traffic approaching from either side as a distance of not less than 75 metres and shall not be placed within 10 metres of any junction.

Signing and guarding of materials

14. All materials shall be guarded in accordance with the ‘Safety at Roads Works - A Code of Practice’ on the GOV.UK website.

15. During the hours of darkness a road danger lamp shall be attached to each corner of the barriers, and when the materials have been placed on the carriageway, lamps must be placed between the traffic cones. Lamps shall comply with the ‘Safety at Road Works - A Code of Practice’ on the GOV.UK website.

Removal of materials

16. No materials shall remain on the highway after the expiry of the licence.

17. The materials shall be:

a. Removed as soon as possible and in any case not later than two working days after it is no longer needed.

b. Removed or repositioned if required by the Police or the Highway Authority.

18. On expiry of the licence, the highway where the materials have been positioned must be left in a clear and tidy condition and any damage to the highway repaired to the satisfaction of the Highway Authority.

19. A person who mixes or deposits on a highway any mortar or cement or any other substance which is likely to stick to the surface of the highway or which, if it enters drains or sewers connected with the highway, is likely to solidify in the drains or sewers is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding Level 4 on the Standard Scale, as seen on website.

Signing and guarding requirements for materials in the carriageway

The diagram below shows the signing and guarding requirements for materials in the carriageway and is in accordance with the version October 2013 of ‘Safety at Road Works - A Code of Practice’ on the GOV.UK website.

Cones placed as a taper on the side approach with cone lamps along with a 600mm Keep Right Arrow at the taper head. There should be a row of cones with cone lamps on the opposite side. Barriers should be place in front and back of materials.

Diagram of signing and guarding requirements for materials in the carriageway


Street Works Team
Telephone: 01480 372 444