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Skip Hire Regulations: Licences and Permits

As per the Highways Act 1980: Section 139 Road Traffic Regulations Act, 1984, any person or business who will be placing a skip (or a bag, such as a Hippobag) on a public road (i.e. not on a driveway or private property) is required to obtain permission in the form of a permit from their local council. Some councils, especially those in central London and in areas of Scotland, will require the person or business who will be hiring the skip to apply personally; most other councils will require the skip company to make the application for a permit.

Skips on Pavements and Roads

Central government legislation prohibits skips from being placed onto pavements without local council approval, and therefore any skip not placed wholly on private property will require a permit. The same rules apply to building materials which are left on public land. If the skip is being placed on a public road, some councils will require additional safety precautions to be made, such as the use of lighting during the night, traffic cones, or reflective strips to alert drivers of the hazard. Fines of up to £1,000 may be imposed by local councils on any person or business failing to comply with the safety precautions.

Skip Permits

Skip permits should be obtained as far in advance as possible, as some councils will require additional fees to process a skip permit at short notice, usually for any application required in less than three days. There is no central government system to apply for a skip permit, which means that each locality has a different procedure for applications: some use online forms, while others require a visit to a council building to complete the application.

Most permits last for between one day and four weeks, and the cost will be dependent on the duration of the skip’s presence on public land. Fees may include a charge for obstruction of a public highway, or parking fees depending on where the skip is placed. A permit must be obtained before a skip, Hippobag or building materials are placed on public land. When a skip has been removed, the road or other public land must be in the same condition as before the skip arrived, or else the permit holder may face additional charges. For skips being placed in areas where the ground is at high risk of damage, such as on a grass verge, the council may ask for a deposit before the permit is granted to ensure that the ground is returned to its original state.

Care of Skip

Responsibility for the upkeep of the skip is down to the person or business to whom the permit was granted, which includes ensuring that the skip is not dangerous and that the contents are contained within the skip. Open skips are more liable to interference from the public, which is why some councils recommend skips which are covered or enclosed. It should be noted that skips may not contain any flammable, explosive or toxic materials, or anything which may cause harm to pedestrians or drivers. A full skip must be removed immediately, and if there is a chance of dust, a cover must be placed over the skip.

Woodford Recycling are the leading providers of domestic and commercial skip hire options in the Huntingdon, Bedford, Cambridge, Peterborough and surrounding areas. Our expert team are on hand to provide advice and assistance regarding all licences and permits, ensuring that you have all the necessary paperwork for your skip hire period.


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