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Works on the highway licence

You need a licence to carry out private works or anything which affects or obstructs the highway. A fixed penalty notice may be served on those carrying out unauthorised work.

Before you start work:

Working in the highway
You need a section 50 licence if you:You need a road space booking if you:
  • need to dig up the road to repair existing apparatus such as pipe work or cables
  • need to place new apparatus such as pipe work or cables in the road, that is or will be in your ownership
  • need to have utility-owned apparatus placed in a trench excavated by a third party (a contractor which you have hired that has no connection to any of the utility companies)
  • are carrying out minor alterations to the existing road layout (which have been given express approval from Dorset Highways Operations first
  • are carrying out works associated with new developments and where there is a section 38, section 278 or other legislation agreed
  • are not excavating/digging in the public highway (includes the road and pavement) but are working on it or from it, for example, for building maintenance or tree surgery and the works will impact on traffic flow
  • are placing a licenced obstruction in the road like hoarding or scaffold and traffic management (like temporary lights) are required

Please note that the above are not exhaustive lists. If you require any assistance before applying, please contact us.

Apply for a section 50 licence

  • installation of new apparatus - £475 per application
  • repair of existing apparatus - £300 per application

Please allow four weeks for processing and administration.

Start now

Apply for a road space booking

Licences are charged at £25 per application, per phase of work, plus £1 for each additional street affected by the same job/event.

Please allow 10 working days for processing and administration.

Start now 


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.

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