Permits for skip hire and other activities in London

Permits for skip hire and other activities in London

13 March 2018

London is vast, everything which goes on in the conurbation containing 33 Borough councils includes vast numbers. As result of its 9,787,426 population there are on average 10 million car trips, over half a million cycle trips and about six million bus passenger journeys (1 source Tfl Mayor’s Code of Conduct for Road Works 2012) – although 6 years old the data is still relevant. As highlighted in the recent weather events our nations roads (no withstanding the capitals) are operating at maximum capacity nearly all the time. That is before we factor Tube Journeys (on average 1.37 billion of these each year – they all begin or end above ground on or near the capitals roads). Any interruption to our delicate infrastructure can lead to a massive delay event.

In London the average daily traffic is 40% higher than average in other urban areas of England (in comparison to Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Tyne & Wear etc.) Not to mention that all freight in the capital is carried on the roads.

There are also great numbers of people using paths and pavements in London. For example, the City of Westminster’s daytime population is over 1.1 million and about 40,000 pedestrians use Oxford Circus in the peak period.

With over 13,000 kilometres of road in London the 34 Highways Authorities have their work cut out in keeping the nations capitals veins clear from obstructions. This includes making sure that construction work and road obstructions are correctly permitted and do not bring an already maximised network to a halt. With increasing traffic, congestion, limited parking obstacles on London’s streets need to be kept to an absolute minimum and enforced so as to limit disruption.

Disruption to traffic in London

If you are looking to hire a skip, skip bag or have building materials on the road you are going to need a permit. You will also need a permit if you plan on crossing a pavement or taking up a car parking space. There are 2.56 million cars in London which works out as 0.3 cars per adult. There are quite a few households who do not have a car in London. But if you are having work carried out and plan to hire a skip which will be on the public highway or take up a parking space then you will need to factor the additional cost of the permit.

The cost of hiring a skip varies from London Borough to London Borough and whether the hire is taking place in the red zones which is managed by Transport for London (Tfl) or in more suburban London areas.

There are obvious limits to the size of skips which you can put on the highway and the bylaws are specific about forbidding commercial size skips on highways.

Single yellow Line Dispensations

If you have a requirement to constantly load and off load on a single yellow line area in London you can seek to be issued a single yellow line dispensation for vehicles to load or unload in locations where there are no suitable parking bays and when it is necessary for the vehicle to be very close to the premises. You will be pleased to know when hiring one of our here to clear services – you do not need a single yellow line dispensation as long as the vehicle is in constant use. We can load or unload on a single yellow line for up to 40 minutes without a single yellow line dispensation as we are loading or unloading continuously.

Mobile Lifting Operation (MLO) Licence

To use plant to lift or move equipment in London (boom, crane, forks) on any of the public roads you need to apply for a Mobile Lifting Operation Licence.

  • Parking Bay Use
  • There may be occasion London where you will need to use a parking bay. This will require a suspension of the parking bay and this will come with a fee.
  • Best Practice for Skip Use in London

No skip shall remain on the highway after the date of expiry of the licence. Skips will be removed from the highway as soon as practicable, and no later than two days after it has been filled. This is often over looked by those who hire skips and is critical in the London area. The quicker a filled skip is removed the better. On removal of the skip the highway needs to be left in a clean and tidy condition, failure to do so will result in the Councils contractors carrying out the work and a bill being issued for the work. The other rule here is simple, if you hired a skip then you are liable for the rubbish that is placed around it too. So it makes sense to work smart.

We discovered a rule on one of the boroughs councils that “Skips are to be positioned so that the longer sides are parallel with the kerb.” Which one would assume if common sense! As is the rules that skips are not to be sited within 10m of a road junction or a pedestrian crossing, on a waiting restriction, nor so as to obstruct any pedestrian or vehicular access. Common sense will be the order of the day. Other areas where common sense is needed for the placement of skips is:

  • Within 10m of a bus stop (stand or terminal)
  • Near traffic lights
  • Next to the entrance to or exist from schools
  • Near hospitals or works (except with the permission of the Council or the Police)
  • Transport for London red routes

If a skip is placed on the side of the carriageway it should be positioned so as not to obstruct the flow of water in the channel, nor obstruct any road gullies, fire hydrants or covers to underground chambers or apparatus. Also, placement of the skip should not involve it being dragged or pushed along the highway in any way which causes or may cause damage.

Skip hirers need to be made aware that during use, any spillage on the highway shall be prevented. The contents of the skip shall be kept damped down to prevent nuisance from dust and the content will be adequately covered during transit for disposal.

The skip shall, when deposited, be clearly and indelibly marked with the owner’s name and his telephone number and fitted with markings in accordance with the provisions of the Builders’ Skips (Marking) Regulations 1984. Which also stipulates reflective yellow and red strip must be attached to the ends of the skip facing the traffic.

Skip Licence, Highway licences and dispensation fees

We have researched several London boroughs to ascertain what the cost of certain permits are dependant on the local authority and vary from daily, weekly and monthly amounts. The London local authorities will have this information listed on their websites.

Kensington and Chelsea

Fee per application          Renewal fee       Min. licence period

Max. licence period

  • Builders skip licence      £90         £90         1 day     3 months

Fee per application          Renewal fee       Min. licence period         Max. licence period

  • Temporary Structure licence       £157       none     1 day     3 months
  • Plant and Materials licence          £157       none     1 day     3 months


A licence is needed to place a skip on the highway or a single yellow line, it costs £87.00 per calendar month.

If you intend to put a skip in a parking bay you will need an additional permit which costs £59.00 per bay, per day. Please use this form to apply for permission.

Tower Hamlets

There are three associated charges for skip licenses, as set out below.

A highway maintenance fee:

  • 1 – 7 days = £16.60 plus parking charges
  • 8 – 14 days = £27.70 plus parking charges
  • 15 – 28 days = £33.80 plus parking charges

Dispensations and skip licences

  • Administration for residents, emergency services and registered charities £18.50
  • Administration for businesses and companies  £59.50
  • Vehicle / skip per day – all zones   £41


  • On a road with no line markings £44.00
  • On a road with a single yellow line  £60.00
  • In a (suspended) parking bay  £60.00
  • On a traffic sensitive road  £60.00


It is a compulsory requirement that only the skip company can make the application for both the skip licence and the parking suspension. Applications from individuals, residents and agents will not be accepted.

Applicants must apply for a parking bay suspension for the duration the skip is on-street at a cost of £28.74 per day plus an administration fee of £66.41

Applicants must purchase a skip licence for a minimum of two weeks at £45.04 or maximum of four weeks at £78.80, despite how long the skip will be required for

All skips licence and parking suspension applications must be received five working days prior to the start date of the skip licence/suspension. This will accommodate a two day advanced warning period for the parking suspension and a three day processing period



The cost for hiring a skip is £52 for a minimum of 2 weeks. The cost for hiring a skip for 4 weeks is £104.

If you fill the skip and have it emptied and replaced within the licence period this will not require a new licence.


The following charges are valid from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.

Duration New or renewal from 1 April 2017

  • 5 days   £33.50
  • 14 days £33.50
  • 28 days £64.70

The following charges are valid from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

Duration              New or renewal from 1 April 2018

  • 5 days   £34.70
  • 14 days £34.70
  • 28 days £66.80

Materials/compressor/mixer licence

The following charges are valid from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.

Duration              New or renewal from 1 April 2017

  • 5 days   £36.40
  • 14 days £36.40
  • 28 days £71.80

Inspection fee   £36.40

The following charges are valid from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

Duration              New or renewal from 1 April 2018

  • 5 days   £37.70
  • 14 days £37.70
  • 28 days £74.30

Inspection fee   £37.70

Controlled Parking Zones



  • A skip licence fee is £69 valid for a maximum period of three weeks.
  • If the skip is to be placed in a CPZ bay, there will be an additional admin charge of £109 which is valid for the period of the licence, and a daily charge for the bay.
  • The daily charge will depend on the CPZ.

Harrow Essex

2017 – 2018

£51.00 for one month (28 days), with a further £46.00 payable for each one-month extension.

The licence is issued to the skip company and payable by them.

There is a fine of twice the application fee if a skip is placed on the road without a licence.

Transport for London Skip Approval

Highways Act | License type | Fee  | Duration | Extension | Fee | Extension Duration

  • S139     Skip        £60        14 days    £30 7     days
  • S142      Planting £100     Annual
  • S169      Scaffold £300     10 weeks             £100 10 weeks
  • Mobile scaffold £300 3 locations per Licence within 3 months
  • S171 Building Materials / Excavation £100 14 days £50 14 days
  • S172 Hoarding £300 10 weeks £100 10 weeks S177
  • Building Oversail £300 Annual +£100 annual renewal
  • S178 Crane Oversail £0 Annual £0
  • S178 Seasonal decorations £0 Annual £0 Traffic Regulation 65(1)
  • Traffic Sign consideration £300 N/A Works At cost

In conclusion the process of waste removal in London can be quite remarkable always check with us to access the products and solutions to make this an easy process for you. Give our team a call and discuss your requirements. Prices correct at the time of publishing and are only an indication as to some of the cost involved with skip hire and operations which affect highways throughout London.