If you or your organisation wish to place, retain, and afterwards inspect, maintain, adjust, repair, alter or renew apparatus in the highway you must obtain a licence from the Highway Authority.

It is important that whoever is carrying out the works is familiar with NRSWA as they will have the knowledge and accreditation needed. If the forms and provision of information is not complete then this could delay your application being approved.

The person granted a Street Works Licence becomes an Undertaker for the purposes of the New Roads & Street Works Act 1991, and therefore has the duties and responsibilities imposed by the Act and associated Secondary Legislation and Codes of practice.

Rights and obligations for the owner of the apparatus and the Highway Authority are explained in the licence.

The applicant must strictly adhere to these conditions. Financial penalties may be imposed by us against the licence holder, and/or the applicant, for non-compliance with the relevant statutory duties or licence conditions. This liability cannot be delegated and rests with you.

Please be aware that there are also penalty costs that could possibly be incurred by carrying out works under this licence. For example a fixed penalty notice (FPN) could be served if the works start prior to a licence being granted or a registration notice is submitted late. Section 74 charges could be served if the works are still occupying the highway after the original requested works end date has lapsed and no extension to the works duration has been agreed. The fees for an FPN or Section 74 are explained in the conditions section of this guidance document.

How to Apply

If you wish to apply for a licence please download the Streetworks Licence Form and email streetworks@newcastle.gov.uk .
Please ensure your contact details are correct.
Download Streetworks Licence Form (PDF 5mb)

The cost of the licence is £531.50 for a new licence and £313.50 to work on a existing licence. Part of this charge is for details of the works being entered into our Streetworks Noticing system.

The information you have to provide includes location plans, timescales for carrying out the work and the type of traffic management you will use. You will need to consult utility companies about your proposals and they may ask for additional work to be carried out to protect their apparatus.

Your works maybe inspected by the Highway Control Officer (Newcastle City Council) who will discuss any problems with you.

Applications will need to be submitted a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the start date. The licence will be provided once the dates for carrying out the work have been confirmed and all information has been provided.


You may have to give up to three months advance notice if your works are on a traffic sensitive street and have the potential to cause traffic disruption. The Highway Authority may request that an alternative diversion route is used if they consider the impact on traffic during the works to be significant.

The licence is given for the duration of the works on site but is not time limited, it ends only if the apparatus is removed from the highway. Additional utility information though may need to be requested again if a time lapse has occurred.

If your works excavation is to be deeper than 250mm then you will need to apply for location plans of utility company’s apparatus and supply these with your application.  Responsibility remains with the contractor to locate services at all times during the excavation and works. These may have less than 250mm cover in some places where restrictions prevent them being placed at the correct depth.

Any changes in ownership should be reported to the Highway Authority.

Reinstatement of the works shall be in accordance with the specification provided by the ‘Specification for the Reinstatement of Openings in Highways’ (sections A2.4.1 and A2.4.2)Any excavation shall be at least temporarily reinstated before removing any signing and barriers. No trench reinstatement is to be re-opened to highway users without at least a temporary bituminous layer being in place, which is flush with the level of the adjacent highway. Limestone is not permitted in the wearing course. Any temporary reinstatement shall be agreed with the Highway Authority.

Applications for a licence must be made, approved and paid for before any works can commence.

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 1.5 metres deep. The guarantee period does not begin until the permanent reinstatement has been accepted as completed.

Section 74

If the works take longer than the agreed period then section 74 charges may apply for each working day over and above the agreed period.  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 signing and guarding that may have been left following completion of the works.

Fixed Penalty Notice

The Fixed Penalty Notice scheme was introduced in section 41 of the Traffic Management Act 2004, which inserted section 95A and schedules 4A and 4B into the ‘New Roads & Street Works Act 1991’. It provides for certain offences, under Part 3 of the ‘New Roads & Street Works Act 1991’, to become fixed penalty offences.

The objectives of the FPN system are to:

Encourage accurate and timely notice data
Improve the co-ordination of works
Improve date quality for all works promoters
Contribute to the aim of the Traffic Management Act 2004 – minimising disruption arising from road and street works.

Works Type Notice Period for application
Road closure any duration Three Months
Works greater than 10 days (Not requiring a road closure) Three Months
Works 10 days or less (Not requiring a road closure) One Month
Emergency Works (Works required to end/prevent danger to persons or property or to end/prevent an interruption to an existing supply) Contact us by email on streetworks@newcastle.gov.uk
Urgent Works (Where works are not an emergency but may turn into an emergency before the required one or three months (as mentioned above) Contact us by email on streetworks@newcastle.gov.uk

Fixed Penalty Notices: Apply to all undertakers, whether statutory undertakers or licences under section 50 of the ‘New Roads & Street Works Act 1991’. May be given only for the street, or section of street, in which the works take place.

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 a penalty. 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 the 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.

A Fixed Penalty is £80 if paid within the discount period of 29 days or £120 if paid within 36 days.

Public Register

The Highway Authority maintain a electronic register of Section 50 licences they have issued if you wish to view these please email streetworks@newcastle.gov.uk

Legislation/documents relevant to Section 50 licence applications
Code of Practice ‘New Roads and Street Works Act 1991’ Code of Practice for the Co-ordination of Street Works and Works for Road Purposes and Related Matters
Code of Practice ‘New Roads and Street Works Act 1991’ Code of Practice for Inspections

If you require any additional information please email streetworks@newcastle.gov.uk
Contact Details
Highways and Local Services, Communities Directorate,9th floor, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH, Phone: 0191 2777369

Page last updated: 
7 April 2015
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