Skip to content

Make a request

Placement of rails, beams and cranes over the highway

An exciting project is underway within Highways to transform our online services.  An extremely important aspect of the project  is to speak with people who use our services; giving opportunities to review and try our new designs, and to capture feedback about the experience.  If you are a contractor who has applied for a highway service, and you would like to participate in user research, please let us know.

Section 178 of the Highways Act 1980 regulates the placement of apparatus such as rails, beams and cranes over the highway.

It is an offence to place any such equipment before applying for a Section 178 licence.


Apply by completing our online application form. We need a minimum of 20 days’ notice.

Please do not start work until you have received written confirmation of approval. Approval will not be provided until payment has been received.


The cost of the licence is £261 (this is non-refundable even if the application is rejected). We will contact you to take payment following receipt of your application.

When is a Section 178 licence not required?

  • If the owner holds another statutory right such as a public utility company or Civil Aviation Authority or holds a licence under Transport Act 2000.
  • If you are moving loads from mobile plant or equipment, for example, a lorry with grab arm. For these operations, a licence to carry out minor work on the highway should be considered.