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Factsheet: Apparatus on the public highway

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You will need a licence if you need to repair existing apparatus such as pipe work or cables, or place new apparatus that is or will be in your ownership in the public highway.

You also need a licence if you are having utility-owned apparatus placed in a trench that is to be excavated by a third party – a contractor which you have hired that has no connection to any of the utility companies.


How much will a licence cost?

  • Placing a new apparatus in the highway £390
  • Repairing an existing apparatus £270
  • There is an extra charge of £75 for each additional 200 meters length of excavation.
  • The cancellation fee is up to £120 – the final cost depends on how far the application has been processed.
  • There is no extra fee for using temporary traffic signals.
  • If we have served you a Section 81 notice letter there is no fee to pay.

There is no VAT to add to these prices.


How much notice do I need to give?
All complete applications must be received at least one month in advance of the proposed start date of the works. Three calendar months’ notice must be given if a road closure is required, or if the works will last for 11 days or longer. If the work is an emergency (will cause danger to life or damage to property) contact the Traffic Managers Unit by phoning 01392 383000 and asking for ‘Section 50’.


What if I need to close a road or change a traffic regulation order?
To close a road or change a traffic regulation you will need to apply for a temporary traffic regulation order (TTRO). A temporary traffic regulation order is the legal process that is used to introduce temporary restrictions, for example a road closure, suspension of a one way street or a suspension of parking.

Road closures are a last resort and will only be granted following a completed application and risk assessment.


How do I apply?
Read the guidance notes thoroughly.

Email us at for more information.