What you need to know about road restrictions (when hiring a skip)
When you are carrying out building work, extensive redecoration, or renovations, chances are there will be a lot of rubbish to get rid of afterwards. The best way of doing that is usually to hire a skip. If the skip is to be placed on your own land, then the only restrictions you face are on what can go in it.
It isn’t possible, for example, to use a skip to get rid of hazardous items like asbestos, oil or refrigerators (there’s actually quite a long list of the things you can’t put in a skip, but the general rule has to do with something’s hazardous nature). You may feel confident that you are not likely to be disposing of any such items – but watch out for fly tippers who might throw something in there without your knowing. That can be a problem, because the law says that you (and not the fly tipper) are responsible for whatever is in your skip, and you can face serious fines. Other than that, if the scheme is on your own land, you can do as you like and you don’t need a licence.
You also don’t need a licence if you are thinking of putting the skip on the pavement, because there’s a very simple rule about putting a skip on the pavement: it’s illegal. You can’t do it.
If, however, you need to put the skip on the road, then you do need a licence and there are limits to what you can do:
- You cannot block any entrances or exits unless you specify in your licence application that you would need to do so, and the license you receive permits it.
- You cannot put the skip over, or in any other way block access to, a manhole or other utility access point. This is common sense, really – just imagine what would happen if an emergency demanded access to a water pipe, a gas main or a sewer and no one could get into it because a skip was blocking the way.
- You cannot place the skip within 15 meters of any junction.
- If the place where you intend to put the skip is a registered parking bay, then you will need a licence that says you can put it there, and in many local authority areas you will be expected to pay the full amount that could have been charged for parking there for the whole time that the skip is present, even if that bay is used infrequently.
There may be additional requirements. For example, visible contact details for the skip hire company, and placing safety cones around the skip. These will be set by your local authority.
In fact, your local authority is one place to start when you decide you need a skip, because they will tell you what the restrictions and requirements are at that exact spot, and what the fee for the licence will be. Costs, restrictions and requirements are fixed council by council. That is also true in London, where they vary from one borough to another.
We said that the local authority is one place to start, but you can call us, because we know the fees, restrictions and requirements charged by the London boroughs.