Section 50 Agreements – Placing Apparatus in the Highway

Section 50 Agreements – Placing Apparatus in the Highway

A Section 50 Agreement is an Agreement between a developer or contractor and a Local Highway Authority for a licence to work or place apparatus within the highway. The legislation is covered by the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, with the pertinent licence information outlined within Section 50. 

The Section 50 licence covers all works within the highway, including excavation, the placement of utility apparatus and the placement of temporary traffic management. A Section 50 Agreement licence is often required when undertaking Section 278 Agreement works (see Section 278 Agreements – Permanent Alterations to the Highway).

Section 50 Agreement Application

In order to obtain a Section 50 Agreement licence, an application must be submitted to the Local Highway Authority (LHA). Applications vary dependant on the LHA, but the application will generally require:

  • A plan of the proposed works (often outlined within other Legal Agreements)
  • A proposed start date and estimated duration of works
  • Details of the proposed contractor, including suitable Streetworks cards of the proposed operatives
  • Public liability insurance (often up to the value of £10 million) up to the completion of any reinstatement
  • Utility Plans (if excavating in the carriageway)
  • Traffic Management Proposals (in accordance with Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 8)

The application form is subject to approval by the LHA, and depending on the scale of the works a variety of timescales are supplied, advising on the lead-in time for the work start date. The general timescales for each category of works are listed below:

  • Emergency/Urgent – 2 Hours after – Often for utility companies only
  • Minor – Anything up to 3 days in duration, 3 days notice required after the application submission
  • Standard – Between 4 and 10 days in duration, 10 days notice required after application submission
  • Major – 11 days or greater in duration, 3 months notice minimum is generally required. Any works requiring a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order are generally classed as major works. 

Following the approval of the Section 50 Agreement licence, the works start date and end date should be communicated to the LHA in order for the works to be monitored. Each LHA will have their own processes and thresholds, but a visit from a Street Works officer from the LHA will likely be required as part of the Section 50 Agreement licence to ensure that works are being undertaken in line with the approved plans and to a suitable standard, and that the traffic management follows Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 8. Following the LHA officers visit, amendments may be required to the traffic management or works being undertaken. Once the highway works are complete and the apparatus removed from the highway, this should be communicated to the LHA. 

A utility company placing apparatus in the highway.  Section 50 Agreements would be required for this work.

A utility company placing apparatus in the highway. A Section 50 Agreement would be required for this work.

If you would like any assistance producing traffic management plans for highway works or liaison with the LHA for a Section 50 Agreement license, book a free consultation or call us today.

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