Permit scheme for road works and street works

Last updated: 28 April 2022

3. Specified activities

3.1. Activities requiring a permit

The permit scheme controls the following activities undertaken on the public highway and as defined as Registerable Activities under NRSWA. These include:

  • street works - work on plant and apparatus in the street by undertakers, except for works by licensees under Section 50 of NRSWA
  • works for road purposes - maintenance and improvement works to the road itself carried out by, or on behalf of, the Highway Authority (under Section 86 of NRSWA)
  • major highway works (including developer activities under Section 278 of the Highways Act 1980)
  • other activities that may be introduced under future regulations
  • all activities that involve the breaking up or resurfacing of the street
  • all activities that involve the opening of the carriageway or cycleway on traffic sensitive streets, or streets with a reinstatement category of 0,1 or 2
  • all activities that require the use of any form of temporary traffic control as defined in the Code of Practice for Safety at Street Works and Road Works
  • all activities that reduce the number of lanes available on a carriageway of three or more lanes
  • all activities that require a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) or notice, or the suspension of pedestrian crossing facilities
  • all activities that require a reduction in width of the existing carriageway of a traffic sensitive street, or street with a reinstatement category of 0,1 or 2

The Permit authority will be able to specify any required conditions to the permits and promoters must comply with the terms and conditions of the permits. One permit can only cover one activity on one street as per Section 9.5.

3.2. Works for road purposes

The permit scheme rules, including permit conditions, will apply equally to both highway authority ‘works for road purposes’ and statutory undertaker activities.

Fees will not be applied to the highway authority’s own works. The highway authority and any promoter of ‘works for road purposes’ must ensure that they have followed the equivalent processes and declare that they have fulfilled these requirements in their permit applications.

Permit authorities must demonstrate parity of treatment for all activity promoters, particularly between statutory undertakers and the highway authority’s own work promoters, which will be measured through key performance indicators.

Diversionary works to accommodate works for road purposes shall not require the statutory undertaker to apply for a permit. The highways authorities activity promoter shall be responsible for the permit application to cover the diversionary works.

3.3. Activities not requiring a permit before they start

Immediate activities do require a permit but because such works are concerned with emergency or urgent situations, a promoter can start work before applying for a permit provided they apply for a permit from the permit authority within 2 hours.

If the works commence out of working hours then a permit must be applied for by 10am the next working day.

3.4. Works and activities for which a permit is not required

Activities executed in a street pursuant to a street works licence issued under Section 50 of the NRSWA are not included in the permit scheme, but have to follow the normal NRSWA procedures through their respective councils.

Further information regarding exempt activities can be found in section 4.2.