When carrying out any building work/maintenance or removal of any part of a property which is adjacent to the public highway (road, pavement or rear lane), the safety of all users of the highway must be paramount.
This is achieved by providing safe areas at ground level or a platform at high level. When it is necessary to place hoardings on the highway around the place of work or scaffolding, permission is necessary and can be obtained from the council.
Once permission has been granted, the conditions attached to the licence must be carefully read and kept to at all times.
- To be a minimum of 2.5m high and to be able to withstand high winds
- Illumination may be required if street lighting is not adequate
- Must have a smooth finish with no protruding parts
- Pedestrian walkways of satisfactory width are to be maintained or provided and regularly inspected by the Contractor.
- During the erection or dismantling period, a safe working area at ground level is required to be provided to prevent pedestrians gaining access - this means that in the Town Centre, this work is to be carried out outside normal working hours, i.e. after 6pm or before 8am on a Sunday.
- Will require illumination unless no part of it is less than 0.45m (18 inches) from a carriageway in a horizontal direction and no part of it over a footway is less than 2.4m (8 feet) above the footway.
- Pedestrian walkway to be maintained around the scaffold. If this cannot be arranged, it requires to be designed to allow access under and through the scaffold safely - no trip hazards, no projecting tubes or fittings, covered adequately to provide a working platform and prevent materials or debris falling through. Poles to be highlighted. A reasonable free walking width must be maintained to enable persons in wheelchairs/prams, etc, to pass the scaffold safely.
The council has the necessary powers to issue licences for scaffolding; to require erection of hoardings to separate building works from the street; and to ensure hoardings are securely erected. Contravention of these is an offence with maximum fines of £5,000 (non-compliance with scaffolding licence), £1,000 plus £2 per day (contravention of Section 172 of the Act) and £200 plus £1 per day (contravention of Section 173 of the Act).
Copies of the Highways Act 1980 can be purchased from Her Majesty's Stationery Office.