Guidance for applicants

This guidance is for anyone who wishes to apply for a Section 50 Licence under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA).

If you or your organisation wish to place, retain and afterwards inspect, maintain, adjust, repair, alter or renew apparatus in the highway then you must obtain a licence from Newcastle City Council. The term apparatus includes drains, cables, ducts, sewer pipes, water and gas pipes etc. both under, over, across, along and upon the highway.

Those applicants not familiar with the requirements of this legislation are strongly advised to appoint a Contractor with the appropriate knowledge and accreditation to help complete the application and conduct the works on their behalf.

If you require permission to work in the highway but do not intend to place or retain any apparatus you will require a Road Opening Notice which is a separate application process.

The Highways Act 1980 and the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA) provide the legislative framework for work being undertaken in the highway and the co-ordination of street works activities.

As the Highway Authority, it is essential that Newcastle City Council has an accurate record of all works undertaken on our highway and without this accuracy the Council cannot fulfill its Network Management Duty under the Traffic Management Act (TMA).

The person granted a licence becomes an undertaker for the purposes of the New Roads and Street Works Act (NRSWA) and therefore has duties and responsibilities imposed by the act and associated secondary legislation and Codes of Practice.

It is important that whoever is applying for a licence is familiar with this element of the legislation and understands the implications should they fail to comply with this. Your liability cannot be delegated so it is vital that you understand this entire process and adhere to the requirements and conditions.

The process for an application requires the submission of documents for approval before you are authorised to work in the highway. Once approved you must ensure that you submit the correct notification updates within the required timescales as noted in this guidance.

A Street Works Licence to place apparatus or consent to work on existing apparatus in the highway, will only be granted to the owner(s) of the apparatus or his Successor in Title. The application form must be signed by the owner of the existing or proposed apparatus.

We require that all the notifications to ourselves of the works adhere to the same noticing requirements that we require for utility companies. Please be aware that there could be penalties incurred for failure to adhere to this.

Failure to pay any required or outstanding fees and charges, may impact upon your ability to successfully secure licence applications in the future.

In order for the Street Authority to comply with its statutory duty, all applications must be submitted a minimum of one month in advance of your intended start date. However if your works are on a traffic sensitive street or require a road closure we will require a three month advance notification. A shorter period may be agreed by the Street Authority. 

All applicants should note that special conditions may be imposed by the Street Authority:

  • In the interest of safety
  • To minimise the inconvenience to persons using the street, having regard to people with disability in particular
  • For Traffic Sensitive Streets, Streets with Special Engineering Difficulties and Protected Streets and to protect the structure of the street and the integrity of the apparatus in it

What you need to do as an applicant

When making your application please ensure that you email all the details noted below as we will not consider your application until we receive the full application and payment. Failure to send all the details will delay the process and could mean that you may have to change your work dates.

The cost of a new Section 50 license is £531.50 (Admin fee od £141.50, capitalised fee of £140 and inspection fee of £250)

The cost of a works to an existing Section 50 license is £313.50 (Admin fee of £113.50 and inspection fee of £200) 

A further charge of £72.50 is payable for each additional 200m length of road and / or each additional road identified.

If you are uncertain of the charge please email streetworks@newcastle.gov.uk and we will respond advising you of the correct charge.

You must notify streetworks@newcastle.gov.uk within 24 hours of starting and finishing your works.

What we require in order to process the application

For new apparatus, you will need the following:

  • Completed application form with section 5 signed
  • Plan showing clearly the limits of your works
  • Details and copies of documentation clearly identifying that your operatives hold the relevant qualifications to work on the highway
  • Fully comprehensive public liability of £25,000,000 and employer insurance of £25,000,000 for each Section 50 license applied for
  • A completed Waste Transfer document
  • Responses from utility companies showing clearly the limits of any apparatus that may impact on your work along with a completed declaration form.

Payment must be made at the time of application. Please phone our payment line on 0191 278 7878, quoting "Section 50" and your licence location.

Works to existing apparatus

If you have already worked at a location and you need to revisit this then you will need to apply for a works to existing. You will need the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Plan showing clearly the limits of your works
  • Details and copies of documentation clearly identifying that your operatives hold the relevant qualifications to work on the highway
  • Fully comprehensive public liability of £25,000000 and employer insurance of £25,000,000 for each and every Section 50 license applied for
  • A completed Waste Transfer document
  • Responses from utility companies showing clearly the limits of any apparatus that may impact on your work along with a completed declaration form.

Please be aware that when you are authorised to work on the highway with our permission you must adhere to the requirements noted below. Failure to do so may result in you being liable for a Fixed Penalty Charge or a Section 74 overrun charge.

  • Following your application for a Section 50 license, you must notify us at least one month prior to your works
  • For works on a traffic sensitive road, require a road closure or you will be on site for longer than 11 days you must advise us three months in advance of your works
  • You must provide an exact start and finish date a minimum of 10 working days prior to the works start date
  • You must notify Newcastle City Council the next working day following the works start (by 16:30) to confirm that your works have started
  • You must notify Newcastle City Council the next working day following the works stop (by 16:30) to confirm that your works have stopped
  • You must notify Newcastle City Council within 10 working days following your works finishing date with your registration details as requested on the reinstatement form

There may be times when your works are not able to adhere to the full one month advance notification, in which case you will need to discuss this with us to gain approval. Please contact us by email streetworks@newcastle.gov.uk.

The Licensee must permit the Street Authority to monitor the performance throughout all stages of the street works. These stages are:

  • signing, guarding and excavation
  • signing, guarding and reinstatement
  • immediately after permanent reinstatement
  • between 6 and 9 months after permanent reinstatement
  • during the one month preceding the end of the guarantee period (this period will begin from the date the street authority is notified of the permanent reinstatement and will be for 2 years for excavations up to 1.5m deep and 3 years for excavations greater than this)

The Licensee must provide ongoing indemnity for the street authority against any claim in respect of injury, damage or loss arising out of the presence in the street of apparatus to which the licence relates, or the execution by any person of any works authorised by the licence.

What you can expect from us

  • We will respond to your application once we have received all of the supporting documentation.
  • A signed licence will be sent to you as the apparatus owner for retention in your records of this site. We recommend that the license is kept with the title deeds of the property and you will need to make this licence available to your solicitor in the event that the property is sold and liability will pass to the new owner.
  • If any works are found to be defective, as defined in the 'Specification for the Reinstatement of Openings in the Highway', further inspections will be charged per inspection. The licence does not dispense the licensee from obtaining any other consent, licence or provision which may be required. In particular, permission to connect to a sewer must be sought from the relevant company.
  • We must be permitted to monitor performance throughout all stages of the works. You will be required to guarantee the works for 2 years (or 3 years if they are more than 1.5m deep). The guarantee period does not begin until the permanent reinstatement has been accepted as completed.

Fixed Penalty notice (FPN)

A Fixed Penalty notice could be served for late submission of notification of works. You must ensure you notify us:

  • 10 days prior to your works starting
  • On the next working day following the works commencing on site
  • On the next working day following the works being completed
  • Within 10 working days of the works finishing noting the reinstatement dates

Part 3 of ‘New Roads & Street Works Act 1991’ details a range of statutory duties and obligations and the offences associated with failing to comply with them. All of these can be prosecuted in the Magistrates Court. At present, seven offences, under Part 3 of the New Roads & Street Works Act 1991, can be dealt with by Fixed Penalty notices. A Fixed Penalty notice offers an undertaker / licensee the opportunity to discharge any liability to conviction for a fixed penalty offence, by payment of the FPN. However, the Street Authority retains the power to take an alleged offender to the Magistrates Court, instead of giving a fixed penalty notice, or to prosecute for the original offence should the fixed penalty notice remain unpaid after the expiry of the payment period.

These offences refer to noticing failures. Therefore, payment of a Fixed Penalty notice does not exempt an offender from other prosecutions or charges for other offences under ‘New Roads & Street Works Act 1991’. It is important that accurate information is provided in notices given under section 54, 55 or 57, 70, 74 or 74A. Each set of works requires several notices, so it is possible that more than one Fixed Penalty notice could be given for each set of works. All applicants are strongly recommended to consult NRSWA, the TMA, Regulations and DfT Code of Practice for the Co-ordination of Street Works and Works for Road Purposes and Related Matters (third edition) for more information.

Failure to adhere to this requirement will mean you are liable to a potential FPN. A Fixed Penalty notice can be issued within the powers of the Traffic Management Act (TMA) 2004, for the offences under NRSWA (listed in appendix A) and noted below:

  • Section 54(5) failure to comply with duties under Section 54
  • Section 55(5) beginning to execute works in contravention of Section 55
  • Section 57(4) failure to give notice in accordance with Section 57
  • Section 70(6) failure to comply with requirements to give notice of completion of reinstatement in accordance with Section 70(3) or (4A)
  • Section 74(B) failure to serve a notice required by regulations made under Section 74 (charge for occupation of the highway where works are unreasonably prolonged)
  • Section 74A(11) failure to comply with requirements in regulations made under Section 74A (charge determined by reference to duration of works)

The FPN charge, set by the Department for Transport, is £120. However if this is paid within 29 calendar days a discounted charge of £80 applies. Failure to pay by day 36 could result in legal proceedings through the Magistrates Court to recover costs.

Section 74

If your works take longer than the agreed period then a Section 74 charge will apply for each working day (Monday-Friday) that your works continue past this date. These charges are set nationally and vary according to the classification of the road and the impact on traffic sensitive streets. These charges also apply to any signing, lighting and guarding that may have been left. 

The table below shows the charges in relation to works occupying the carriageway during period of overrun (Section 74).

Item Description of Street Amount, £ (each for first three days) Amount, £ (each subsequent day)
1 Traffic sensitive or protected street not in road categories 2, 3 or 4 5,000 10,000
2 Other streets not in road categories 2, 3 or 4 2,500 2,500
3 Traffic sensitive or protected street in road category 2 3,000 8,000
4 Other street in road category 2 2,000 2,000
5 Traffic sensitive or protected street in road category 3 or 4 750 750
6 Other street in road category 3 or 4 250 250

Charges in relation to works outside the carriageway during period of overrun:

Item Description of street Amount, £
1 Street not in road category 2, 3 or 4 2,500
2 Street in road category 2 2,000
3 Street in road category 3 or 4 250

 

Contact

Please contact streetworks@newcastle.gov.uk should you have any queries.

 

Application Form

The application form can be found here.

Important:

  • You must notify Newcastle City Council the next working day following the works start (by 16:30) confirming that your works have started.
  • You must notify Newcastle City Council the next working day following the works stop (by 16:30) confirming that your works have finished.
  • You must submit your registration details within 10 working days following the completion of your works. The registration form can be found here.

Public Register

The highway authority maintain an electronic register of all Section 50 licences they have issued. If you wish to view these details please email your request to streetworks@newcastle.gov.uk.

Legislative documents

The documents noted below will be a valuable source of further information which will explain further details:

  • New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, for the Co-ordination of Street Works and Works for Road Purposes and Related Matters 
  • New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, for the Code of Practice for Inspections

 

Page last updated: 
8 February 2018
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