A licence is required to operate mobile mechanical plant machinery - such as cherry pickers and scissor lifts - on roads, footways, footpaths, verges and back streets.

We must ensure that any request does not represent a safety hazard.

  • Permission is not usually granted for use on the verge.
  • The local authority has the right to specify conditions.
  • Where terms and conditions are violated, a £50 inspection fee will be charged.

Any company that can provide evidence it has £5 million public liability insurance and proof of competence - Powered Access Licence card or similar - can apply for a licence. To use the machinery for less than a day, no licence is required and no fee is payable, but the local highways office must still be notified and guidance followed. To use the machinery for more than a day, you'll need a licence, which is valid for up to two weeks.

Applying for a licence

To apply for a licence, or an extension, download the  application form (doc / 1 MB) and return it to your local area highways office. Refer to our list of fees and charges for cost details.

Further information

If there is a remaining unobstructed footway width of less than 1.2m or carriageway width of less than 6.75m while plant is in place, you will need to provide a plan of the location and describe how pedestrian and/or vehicle traffic would be managed.

The machinery must be signed, guarded and illuminated in accordance with guidelines and any additional special conditions.

Sketch showing machinery planted while working on footpath.

Diagram showing work being done on footpath with a temporary footpath being in road.

Diagram showing mechanical plant on the carriageway hanging over the footpath.