Street furniture refers to anything installed on a road or pavement to help keep drivers, cyclists and pedestrians safe.
Items we are responsible for include bollards, pedestrian guard rails, cycle stands, safety barriers, traffic lights, signs, street lights, bus shelters and salt bins. District and borough councils provide street name plates, litter and dog waste bins, benches, information boards, trees and flower beds. Parish councils are responsible for seats and benches, planters and baskets, village noticeboards, monuments, village signs and trees.
Utility companies are responsible for the likes of telephone poles, mobile phone masts, manholes and fire hydrants.
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.
District, town, city and parish councils can apply to us for consent for items such as litter bins, commemorative benches and trees by downloading and completing the application form below.
Report a highway problem online
If the issue is causing an immediate danger to the safety of road users, it is classified as an emergency. You should contact us by telephone to report an emergency rather than using our online form. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am - 5.30pm. Dial 999 outside office hours for our emergency service.
You can tell us about the issue by registering / logging in to the 'my account' section of the website. 'My account' also allows you to view details of services you have previously applied, booked and paid for. You can also see updates on their progress.
If you prefer, you can tell us about a highway issue anonymously, but please be aware that you will miss out on the benefits of having an account, such as not receiving progress updates.
Frequently asked questions
If we are responsible for the item, we will assess the damage and risk. If there's 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.
We will consider issuing a licence for a range of street furniture items on the highway. The following list identifies some of the most frequently requested items but it is not exhaustive:
- Seats and benches (however in parks and open spaces these are the responsibility of the district or borough council);
- Planters and flower tubs;
- Parish notice boards;
- Litter and dog bins;
- Parish and village name plates / signs; and
- Christmas trees.
If you would like to place furniture on a highway, which includes roads, footways and verges, you need to contact your local district, town or parish council.
They then apply for permission from us on your behalf.
If you are representative of a district, 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.
We cannot accept applications from individuals.
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 isn't suitable, you'll be told in writing. There is no appeal. If the site is suitable, a licence will be issued and if you require the services of our contractors, we will advise you of the installation costs.
The applicant will undertake the works to install new street furniture using an approved NRSWA accredited contractor.
Where the applicant is unable to secure the services of an approved NRSWA 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.
A street furniture licence issued with the following general conditions attached:
- The applicant shall maintain the object(s) or structure(s) in good repair and condition to the satisfaction of the county council.
- If the object(s) or structure(s) shall in the opinion of the county council be in a dilapidated, unsafe or unsatisfactory condition, the county 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 county council.
- 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 county council and shall do all things necessary for restoring and making good the highway to the satisfaction of the county council.
- If the applicant has not removed the object(s) or structure(s) within one month from the receipt of a notice the county 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 county council.
- 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 county council' satisfaction through prior notification to the county council.
- The applicant shall indemnify the county 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 consent.to the sum of a minimum of £5million and shall provide a copy of their public liability insurance certificate annually to the county council for inspection for each and every occurrence.
- The applicant shall ensure that an approved contractor is employed to carry out the installation of the object(s) or structure(s).
- The applicant is responsible for obtaining any other consent in connection with the object(s) or structure(s) (eg. planning permission).
- 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.
- The applicant shall notify the county council of any change in ownership of the object(s) or structure(s).