Skip permits

Licence applications

In Lancashire, when carrying out work on the highway or the emplacement of anything on the highway that could cause an obstruction to traffic or a danger to the public, a permit or licence is required to be obtained prior to carrying out any works.

In order to obtain a licence, you must be able to provide your company address, contact number and public liability insurance that covers at least £5 million along with any supporting plans or documents to;

Regulations for skips can be found within Part IX of the Highways Act 1980.

The council will aim to respond to all licence applications within 24 hours' of receiving the application.

Any skips placed prior to obtaining a licence may be subject to enforcement action.

If you wish to place a skip on the highway, including the carriageway, grass verge, footway or public footpath, you should contact a skip hire company who will apply for a permit on your behalf. All skip companies must be registered with Lancashire County Council and have a current public liability insurance of £5 million.

The skip company should give two working days' notice when requesting a permit. This is to enable the council to carry out checks to ensure that the skip will not cause a danger or a significant obstruction to road users or those intending to carry out works on the highway.


Please contact Street Works Team for further information:


The fee for a skip licence is £36 per month.


The standard licence conditions provide detailed conditions..

Granting or refusing on-line licences 

It will not always be feasible to hire a skip and place it on the road. The Highway Authority issues skip licences, and it seeks to maintain the safety of the public and minimise the obstruction caused by a skip. It is illegal to place a skip on the highway without permission from the Highway Authority.

A permit is only valid once formal approval has been received from Highway Services and paying for a permit does not constitute approval.

Refusal of licence

Your skip licence may be granted or refused after the following points are considered:

  • Traffic volumes and speed of traffic on the street
  • Visibility - does the skip cause a danger by reducing visibility?
  • Available width of the highway - disruption to other road users - the site may affect pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes or bus lanes
  • Access to premises
  • The effect it will have on parking, and restrictions, for example yellow lines and parking meters
  • Planned or existing roadworks
  • Other local and specific issues, for example shopping areas at Christmas
  • The skip owner (ie. the skip company) must have £5 million public liability insurance

Consequence of placing a skip on the highway without a licence

  • If you don't get a licence before placing a skip on the highway it is an offence under section 139(3) of the Highways Act 1980 and legal action may be taken against offenders.
  • Any illegal skip placed on the adopted highway will be removed from the highway and charged for the removal and storage. The skip company will be recharged the full costs of removal, emptying and storage along with a licence fee for the time it was on the highway. It will only be stored for a limited time then destroyed or retained to recover payment.
  • If the skip company pays all associated costs the skip will be available for collection from an appointed site/depot upon receipt of the payment.


The issuing of a licence will require the skip operator to have a minimum public liability insurance policy of £5 million.

Positioning the skip 

The skip should be positioned so that its longer sides are parallel to the edge of the carriageway and as near to the edge of the carriageway as is reasonably practicable and so that it does not impede the surface water drainage of the highway nor obstruct access to any manhole or the apparatus of any statutory undertaker or Lancashire County Council.

If you need more than one skip

Where more than one skip is on the highway at any one time, the skips shall be positioned as closely as possible to each other, but not so close as to obstruct access to any premises unless the consent of the occupier of those premises has been obtained.

Size limit of the skip

Each skip shall not exceed 5m in length by 2m in width.

Lighting and marking the skip  

Each skip or group of skips shall, while on the highway, be marked (guarded) and lit in accordance with the following requirements: 

(a) Each skip shall bear the owner's name and their telephone number/address should also be clearly marked.

(b) The ends of each skip (that is to say, the sides of the skip facing traffic in both directions when the skip is positioned as described above) shall be painted yellow and there shall be attached vertically along the outside edge of each end so as to be visible to traffic a strip of material the composition of which complies with the Builders Skips (Markings) Regulations 1984 (SI 1984 No 1993) in having broad red fluorescent and yellow reflecting diagonal stripes. The painting and the strip of material shall at all times be kept clean.

(c) Each skip shall be guarded by at least four traffic cones placed on the carriageway in an oblique line on the approach side of the skip. (Where two or more skips are deposited in a row, so that the distance between adjacent skips does not exceed 2m, the row shall be guarded as if it were one skip.) 

(d) At night (that is to say, between half an hour before sunset and half an hour after sunrise): 

  • For a single skip or a row of skips on the verge or on the carriageway where cones are not required – a lamp shall be securely fixed to each corner of the skip or end corners of the row of skips where two or more skips are deposited in a row and the distance between adjacent skips does not exceed 2m.
  • For a single skip or a row of skips on the carriageway where cones are required – a lamp shall be securely fixed to each corner of the skip or end corners of the row of skips where two or more skips are deposited in a row and the distance between adjacent skips does not exceed 2m, and shall also be placed between each cone and the next.
  • Lamps shall comply with Traffic Regulations and General Directions

Protection measures for skips placed on the footway

Where permission is given for a skip or skips to be placed on the footway it or they shall, in addition to the other measures required herein, be surrounded by a continuous fence or barrier for the protection of users of the footway including visually impaired and mobility handicapped persons in accordance with the Regulations made by the Secretary of State.

Restrictions on the use skips

No skip, when standing on the highway, shall contain any (inflammable) explosive, noxious or dangerous material or any material which is likely to putrefy or which otherwise is, or is likely to become, a nuisance to users of the highway.

No skip shall be used in such a way that any of its contents fall onto the highway, or that there is an escape of dust from the contents of the skip when standing on the highway.

Removing skips

Each skip shall be removed for emptying as soon as practicable, and in any case, not later than two working days after it has been filled.

No skip shall remain on the highway after the period of the permission has expired.

All materials placed in each skip shall be properly disposed of and the highway where the skip or skips have been deposited shall be left in a clean and tidy condition on the expiration of the permission. 

Skips in transit shall be sheeted over when necessary to prevent escape of dust or contents.