Licences for roadworks

If you need to dig up a road, pavement, or grass verge to install or replace service apparatus (gas pipes, electricity cables, sewers), you must have a licence.

This licence is commonly referred to as a 'Road Opening licence or 'Section 50 licence'. The licences are issued under Section 50 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA)

Anyone granted a licence becomes an undertaker for the purposes of the Act. They must comply with all the duties, legislation and codes of practice set out in the guidance below.

If the road has to be closed, you'll need to make a separate application to do this.  You can find more details about this on our road closures page.

Apply for a licence

Fill in and return the correct form above.

We'll send you an invoice for the application fee which you can pay by debit or credit card.

How long it takes

The normal processing time, from submitting an application to receiving a granted licence, is around 28 days.

Your application may be delayed if you don’t include all the details we’ve asked for.

Until we issue the licence, no works should be carried out. Any apparatus placed in the road without a Section 50 licence is illegal. It will be subject to enforcement action by us for its removal.

If we approve your application, we’ll send you a signed copy of the licence.