Roads and highways licensing

Find out all about the permissions required for use of roads and highways in Hillingdon.

Applying for temporary traffic lights

You must apply for permission for temporary traffic lights if you plan to take up part of a road for construction activity.

Traffic lights
Temporary traffic lights are used to direct traffic while roadworks are carried out. You must ask for permission from the council to put up temporary traffic signals on the public highway. 

Read more about the licence laws (opens new window)

Please note: Transport for London is responsible for all traffic signals in London, including those within the borough. Any observations should be emailed to

How to apply

All applications should be submitted via EToN (Electronic Transfer of Noticing). EToN is the term used for the two-way transmission of notices between Utility Companies and Highway Authorities accompanied by a permit application.

If EToN is not available, please request a hard copy by emailing

There's no charge for permission to erect portable traffic lights on the public highway.  

Approval to erect portable traffic lights on the public highway will only be granted to statutory undertakers, highway authority works promoters or the contractors/agents.

You should submit the following with your application:

  • a 1:1250 scale map of the location
  • a site plan
  • a plan of works
  • signal timings
  • stakeholder comments

Application evaluation process

The network operations team may give permission subject to the following conditions:

  • all portable light signal equipment must conform to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions Regulation 35
  • it's the responsibility of the promoter to arrange in advance (with the relevant highway authority) the adjustment or suspension of permanent traffic signals, pedestrian crossings, bus lanes or bus stops, controlled parking, traffic regulation orders etc
  • if they're the most suitable form of traffic management
  • the signals do not cause a conflict with diversion routes, other works or traffic management.

We'll process an application for a permit to place portable traffic lights on the road within 10 working days.

Fast-track applications

The following categories of work still require formal authorisation, but these applications will follow an agreed fast-track process:

  • emergency
  • urgent
  • special cases of urgent and remedial
  • dangerous.

Any arrangements for fast track authorisation must be established in advance with the network operations team, including relevant out-of-hours contact numbers and procedures. We must receive full retrospective applications for formal authorisation of any fast-track applications, in accordance with our out-of-hours procedures or by 10am the next working day, whichever is sooner. You can call the team on 01895 277553 (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm).

What happens if your application is not processed within the timescales stated?

In this case, tacit consent‚Äč will not apply because there's a risk to public safety. It's in the public interest that Hillingdon Council must process your application before it can grant a permit.

If we have not contacted you by the end of the target completion period, please get in touch. You can do this online if you applied through GOV.UK, or contact the network operations team by calling 01895 277553 (open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Failed application/licence holder redress

Please contact the Street Works Manager via the networks operations team on 01895 277553 (open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).


We would always advise that in the event of a complaint, you make the first contact with the trader (the statutory undertakers, highway authority works promoters or the contractors/agents involved), preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked and you're located in the UK, the Citizens Advice consumer service (opens new window) will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre (opens new window).

Should you need to complain about noise or pollution, or another permit holder, please contact us.

Page last updated: 21 Apr 2023