You need to book road space to work on the highway if you want to:

  • carry out work that impacts pedestrians or traffic flow, such as building maintenance or tree surgery
  • place a licenced obstruction on the road that needs temporary traffic lights (positive traffic management), such as hoarding or scaffold
  • carry out minor alterations to the existing road layout with approval from Dorset Highways first
  • carry out work for new developments with a signed section 38 or section 278 agreement

A road space booking does not allow you to excavate or dig in the public highway. You will need a section 50 licence for this type of work.

Book road space

You must apply with at least 10 working days' notice, unless it's for emergency work that need to start immediately.

Cost and payment

It costs:

  • £25 per application, per phase of work/activity
  • £1 for each additional street affected by the same job/activity

Credit/debit card payment

We recommend secure, fast telephone payment via a credit or debit card. If you choose to pay by card, we will invite you to contact us by phone to make a payment once your application has been approved.


We will invite you to send a signed cheque if your application is approved. Make it payable to Dorset Council for the agreed sum, and send it to Traffic Team, Dorset Highways, County Hall, Collition Park, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ. Please specify the works reference provided on approval on the reverse of the cheque.

Before you start work

Co-ordinate your work around other planned roadworks and check our map showing busy roads to plan your work at times that would cause the least traffic disruption.

Read the Safety at Street Works and Road Works - A National Code of Practice. Failure to comply with the code when executing work on the highway is evidence of failing to fulfil the legal requirements to sign, light and guard work. Compliance with the code will be taken as compliance with the legal requirements to which it relates. Further guidance on safe working on highways, including for some situations not covered by this code, is available in Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual part 1, part 2 and part 3.

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