Street furniture

Street furniture refers to anything installed on a road or pavement to help keep drivers, cyclists and pedestrians safe.

Do it online

Report a problem with street furniture

If you prefer, you can tell us about a problem with street furniture anonymously, but you will miss out on the benefits of having an account such as getting progress updates.

Not all roads are our responsibility

Motorways and trunk roads such as the A1, A1(M), M62, A66, A66(M), A64, A168 (Dishforth to Thirsk) and A19 (north of Thirsk) must be reported to National Highways.

In an emergency

If it's an emergency and poses a safety risk, contact us. Out of office hours, call North Yorkshire Police on 101. If there is danger to life, call 999.

Who is responsible for the different types of street furniture?

Street furniture Who is responsible?
bollards, pedestrian guard rails, cycle stands, safety barriers, traffic lightssignsstreet lights, bus shelters, salt bins, street name plates, litter and dog waste bins, benches and memorial benches, information boards, trees and flower beds North Yorkshire Council
seats and benches, planters and baskets, village noticeboards, monuments, and village signs and trees Parish councils
telephone poles, mobile phone masts, manholes, fire hydrants Utility companies

Reports of damaged street furniture

If we are responsible for the item, we will assess the damage and risk. If there is an immediate hazard, we will make it safe as soon as possible and arrange repairs.

Otherwise, the work will be carried out when funds permit.

Unauthorised street furniture

Any unauthorised street furniture will be removed and the costs recovered from the offender. Depending on the nature of the offence, we also have the power to issue fines and penalties.

Town, city and parish councils can apply to us for consent for items such as litter bins, commemorative benches and trees.

Applying for a street furniture licence

How can I request a licence to place new street furniture in the highway?

Street furniture on the highway needs to be licenced to the local town or parish council. It cannot be licenced to an individual resident.

Contact your local town or parish council if you would like to place furniture on a highway - which includes roads, footways and verges. 

If you are a representative of a town or parish council, you can make a request by downloading and completing the street furniture licence application form and returning it to your local area highways office.

 Street furniture licence application form (pdf / 659 KB)

We cannot accept applications from individuals.

What will happen when I submit my request for a street furniture licence?

Your application will be checked and the location inspected within 28 working days. A decision on whether permission will be granted will be made within three months.

If the site is not suitable, you will be told in writing. There is no appeal.

If the site is suitable, a licence will be issued.

Who does the works to place new street furniture in the highway?

The applicant must undertake the works to install new street furniture using an approved new roads and street works accredited contractor.

Where the applicant is unable to secure the services of an approved accredited contractor, we may be able to undertake the works through our main highway maintenance contractor. Any costs associated with this will be the responsibility of the applicant.

What are the terms and conditions of a street furniture licence?

Once a licence is issued, the licensee will be responsible for the funding and maintenance of the street furniture. There are general conditions attached to these licences and there may be further specific conditions depending on location, size, construction and whether the furniture is permanent or temporary.

All details relating to the design, materials, construction and siting of the item must be agreed by us before work begins. We reserve the right to revoke the licence and remove any item covered by that licence at any time.

A street furniture licence is issued with the following general conditions attached:

  1. The applicant shall maintain the object(s) or structure(s) in good repair and condition to the satisfaction of North Yorkshire Council.
  2. If the object(s) or structure(s) shall in the opinion of the council be in a dilapidated, unsafe or unsatisfactory condition, the council may as highway authority (but without prejudice to their other powers) repair the object(s) or structure(s) and recover the cost of doing so from the applicant which shall be a debt due to the council.
  3. The applicant shall remove the object(s) or structure(s) at its own expense within one month of being required to do so by written notice from the council and shall do all things necessary for restoring and making good the highway to the satisfaction of the council.
  4. If the applicant has not removed the object(s) or structure(s) within one month from the receipt of a notice the council may remove the object(s) or structure(s) and restore and make good the highway and recover the cost of doing so from the applicant which shall be a debt due to the council.
  5. If at any time the applicant wishes to remove the object(s) or structure(s) the applicant shall do so and restore the highway to the council' satisfaction through prior notification to the council.
  6. The applicant shall indemnify the council against all costs, charges, expenses, damages and claims relating to personal injury (including death) and damage to or loss of property arising out of this the sum of a minimum of £5million and shall provide a copy of their public liability insurance certificate annually to the council for inspection for each and every occurrence.
  7. The applicant shall ensure that an approved contractor is employed to carry out the installation of the object(s) or structure(s).
  8. The applicant is responsible for obtaining any other consent in connection with the object(s) or structure(s) (for example, planning permission).
  9. The applicant shall be responsible for the avoidance of all underground services during the works and for the correct submission of street works notices for working in the public highway.
  10. The applicant shall notify the council of any change in ownership of the object(s) or structure(s).

What about a licence for a street cafe, restaurant or pub?

You can find out more here about a street café licence which allows cafés, pubs or restaurants to sell food and place tables, chairs or furniture on a public pavement.

What about advertising boards on a pavement?