Highway licences

  • Minimum four weeks notice is required - longer for more complex applications and if closures are required

Local authority consents

Local authorities issue licences for activities such as street trading, tables & chairs and pavement cafés, but only with our consent. For consideration of consents for basement openings, flag poles, pavement café seating areas, street trading and/or refuse storage bins, you should first contact the relevant local authority, who will then consult with us.

Road closures

If any consent involves a road closure (to accommodate a crane lift for example), then we can arrange for temporary road closures as part of the process. There are statutory procedures which must be followed, with advertising costs of £2,650 to £5,100, depending on the duration and location. Processing time for a road closure requires a minimum of 16 weeks' notice.

Application forms

We can only license activities on the red routes. Find out if we're the licensing authority for your activity by checking if your location is on a red route:

As the highway authority for the red routes, we license these activities. For applications on the A13, please refer to our highway licence policies below.

Banners/Hanging baskets over the highway

The attachment of banners or other similar apparatus over, along or across a highway to TfL Street furniture by private individuals and trade groups is controlled by licence.

Builders' skip

Usually a large open container for putting old, broken building materials, rubbish, etc. The most suitable way of removing materials from properties adjacent to the TLRN is by directly loading into a vehicle. In rare situations where it is impracticable to load directly into a vehicle, then skip licences will be considered.

Building materials

Permission to deposit building materials, rubbish or other things in the street. The storage of building materials on the highway is a 'last resort' and should be avoided where practicable alternative arrangements are possible. 

Building over the highway

For any temporary structure that is constructed over any part of a highway where there are no impacts on traffic. For permanent structures, such as a canopy, building or part of a building constructed over the TLRN, please contact section278team@tfl.gov.uk

Column attachments

The attachment of any overhead beam, rail, pipe, cable, wire or other similar apparatus over, along or across a highway to TfL Street furniture by private individuals and trade groups is controlled by licence.

Crane oversail

Oversail licences are designed for temporary structures over the highway such as cranes, overhead beams or rails etc. This includes cranes operating on private land but oversailing the TLRN.

Excavation in the highway

To temporarily excavate part of the public highway such as the footway for trial holes or working on adjacent land. For installing new services, a Section 50 licence is required.

Festive decorations

The attachment of festive decorations to TfL Street furniture by private individuals and trade groups is controlled by licence.

Hoarding

A close boarded hoarding or fence on the public highway to safeguard the public against the presence of building materials, construction works and the like.

Landscaping/Planting

A landscaping licence permits the occupier or the owner of any premises adjoining the highway to plant and maintain, or to retain and maintain, trees, shrubs, plants or grass in such part of the highway as may be specified in the licence.

Lights in trees

The permanent fixing of lighting in trees will not be permitted due to the risk of fixings causing damage to the tree as it grows over time. The temporary erection of lights in trees will be considered, subject to the installation being completely removed as the licence expires.

Mobile apparatus

For apparatuses such as Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPS) or Cherry Pickers when used in connection with any building or demolition work or the alteration, repair, maintenance or cleaning of any building.

Mobile cranes

A mobile crane relates to vehicular plant being used to hoist detachable loads that require movement from one location to another.

If you want to apply for a mobile crane licence, visit tfl.startraqdome.com

Support for applicants can be found in the StarGo user guide

For any queries, email: RPCraneLicensing@tfl.gov.uk 

Pit lane (temporary loading/unloading area)

Temporary loading and unloading areas usually take place in a parking/loading bay or may require a lane closure as a 'last resort' if alternative arrangements cannot be made. Pit lanes provide a safe area to allow the controlled deposit and delivery of building materials associated with construction works. The Pit Lane must comply with 'Safety at Street Works and Road Works' code of practice.

Scaffold

Any structure erected or retained on or over a highway in connection with any building or demolition work or the alteration, repair, maintenance or cleaning of any building. Licences will be restricted to periods of building activity and scaffolds will not be retained over the highway for any periods when there is no work in progress to justify retention of the scaffold.

Statues/Artworks

For any temporary sculpture or artwork, such as a mural, on or alongside the TLRN. TfL will not assume ownership or maintenance responsibility for the structure, and consents will usually be granted for periods not exceeding one year. 

Temporary traffic signs

Directional traffic signs only where a significant number of visitors can be expected to be making their own way to a venue for the first time, in accordance with Traffic Advisory Leaflet 04/11. The exact same considerations apply to the provision of placing temporary Variable Message Signs (VMS) on the TLRN.

TTROs and TCSRs

If you are a works promoter and a restriction is required to prohibit the movement of traffic, in order to carry out highway works, a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) must be obtained under section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. A Temporary Consolidated Suspension Request (TCSR) is required in relation to the temporary suspension of parking, loading, disabled and/or motorcycle parking bays.

The following application forms for a TTRO or TCSR are for works promoters carrying out highway works and must only be submitted along with a highway licence.

Highway licence policies

These documents outline our policies for considering highway licence applications:

Privacy notice

TfL, its subsidiaries and service providers will use your personal information for the purposes of administering your highway licence application, including where relevant, issuing an invoice and processing any payment. We will retain your information after the issue of the licence for the purposes of managing any correspondence, ensuring compliance with the licence terms and establishing and defending legal rights.

On some occasions, we may need to share your information with associated organisations or their agents for these purposes. Your personal information will be properly safeguarded and processed in accordance with the requirements of privacy and data protection legislation. To find out more about how TfL handles personal data see our privacy and cookies pages.