Apply for a licence to place a crane on the highway

You need a licence to place a crane on a highway. A licence application must be made by a crane operator. You can also use this licence to place a cherry picker.

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 without permission. You should not start any works until you have received the licence.

A licence costs £262 and is valid for 21 days. We need at least five working days to process an application. In an emergency situation, we may grant a licence in less than five working days at a cost of £292. Please ensure you are applying to the correct authority for your licence as the application fee is non-refundable.

Before making an application, you must also make yourself familiar with the terms and conditions for this licence. We will charge £75 if we find you in breach of these terms and conditions.

While making an application, you will need to upload a copy of your:

  • public liability insurance certificate for at least £10 million
  • traffic management plan

You do not need this licence if the owner holds another statutory right. For example, a public utility company, Civil Aviation Authority or a licence under Transport Act 2000.

If you are moving loads from mobile plant or a big piece of equipment, for example, a lorry with grab arm, you will need a section 171 licence. You will also need to apply for a Section 171 Licence if you are placing Traffic Management on the Highway.

If you have any query, e-mail

Apply for a licence to place a crane on the highway

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