We are responsible for co-ordinating and monitoring street works done by utility companies.
Find out about roadworks in your area
London's register of roadworks shows details about proposed and current roadworks, including start and end dates and contact details for the company doing the work.
If you feel work is likely to cause a problem for members of your family or business (eg. special deliveries, a house move, anyone with a mobility disability) then it is important you let us know so that we can see what special arrangements can be made.
How to arrange roadworks - London Permit Scheme
There is a common permitting scheme across London which means that anyone who wants to dig up roads has to apply for a permit before they can begin. This allows Transport for London and the London boroughs to plan and coordinate the timing of works, reducing the disruption to road users.
Contact us for information about:
- how to apply for a permit or s50 license if you are not a statutory undertaker
- documentation needed to apply for a s50 license
- costs involved in getting a s50 license or the permit fee
Who can apply to dig up the highway?
Work on the highway must be carried out by experienced operatives whose work is carried out according to the Specification for the Reinstatement of Openings in Highways a Code of Practice approve by the Secretary of State for Transport.
In most cases, some form of traffic control or pedestrian diversion is needed, which may delay the road users. We will try to ensure that these delays are kept to a minimum.
All the utility companies that work on public highways have to do so in accordance with the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 and the Traffic Management Act 2004. The main provisions are that they must comply with legal requirements regarding:
- safety of excavations
- reinstatement standards
- qualifications of staff and
- a permit
Who digs up our roads?
Nearly 60% of street works in the borough are done by private utility companies. Companies like gas and water suppliers need to dig up the highway to look after and maintain their pipes and to lay new supplies for houses, shops, factories and offices. The Council also need to dig up the highway to do repairs, change road layouts and keep it in a good condition.
Roads can be dug up to:
- connect a private sewer pipe from a property to the main sewer
- make a vehicle crossing over a pavement or verge to allow cars to get to parking areas, driveways and garages
- put in ramps, so people with disabilities have better access to shops and offices
- allow someone to reach cellars, the foundations of buildings, or walls that are very close to or on the boundary of the highway
- dig small trial holes to find pipes and cables, or to check on ground conditions
- repair private pipes, cables or sewer connections
Emergency or urgent works
By their very nature, these works are unplanned and there isn't time to notify local residents. In fact we are only notified within two hours of the start of these works or by 10am on the next working day. An immediate permit is issued in these circumstances and then the works promoter follows the normal permit application procedure. In certain situations, where there could be significant disruption to traffic, information about the work will be made available to the local radio and TV stations for broadcast.
We inspect 10% of the works done by utility companies to make sure they meet the criteria set out when they apply for a permit. Heavy fines are imposed on those who do not adhere to the criteria, which include:
- working without a permit - maximum fine level five (£5,000). May be discharged by paying a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £500 discounted to £300 if paid in 29 days
- contravening the conditions of a permit - maximum fine level four (£2,500). May be discharged by paying a FPN of £120 discounted to £80 if paid in 29 days
- New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 offences - a FPN of £120 discounted to £80 if paid in 29 days
In some cases we can complete the works ourselves and charge the company for the costs.
We meet four times a year with all the utility companies, the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London to discuss major planned projects and other issues.