Neither the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, nor the Traffic Management Act 2004, allows for a street works licence scheme. However part 3 of the Traffic Management Act 2004, which came into force in April 2008, allows local authorities in England, with the consent of the Secretary of State, to operate a permit scheme, under which anyone carrying out works in the public highway must seek permission for those works before proceeding.
No authorities have yet been authorised to operate a permit scheme. Transport for London and 13 London boroughs submitted a London Common Permit scheme for the Department for Transport's approval in July 2008. The Department sought clarification about the proposed scheme last September and we await further information.
In January 2009 Kent county council submitted a separate application to run a permit scheme. This is being considered by officials.