Scaffolding is erected to provide safe conditions for people working in construction.

When the scaffolding structure is over or next to a public highway, precautions must be taken to guarantee the safety of pedestrians and traffic.

We'll only issue a licence if you agree to this code of practice.

We'll inspect the site to check you've met the following conditions:

Scaffolding conditions

  • you must have public liability insurance (not employer’s liability insurance) for a minimum cover of £5 million
  • you must maintain a minimum headroom of 2.1m over a pedestrian footway
    • you must maintain a minimum headroom of 2.4m over a cycleway
    • we will not allow cross-bracing below this height, unless a raised footway is provided. This makes sure minimum headroom requirements are met
  • no part of the scaffold is to be closer than 450mm from the kerb face or edge of carriageway, unless the scaffold is protected by suitable barriers (such as red or white traffic separators) placed on the carriageway. Do not use baulk timbers (sleepers)
  • you must maintain a minimum width of 1.5m for pedestrians in high pedestrian areas
  • you must maintain a minimum width of 1.2m for pedestrians in low pedestrian areas
  • you must put up overhead netting, panelling or platforms on all scaffolds to protect pedestrians from falling objects
  • scaffolding sections below 2.1m from ground level must be painted or covered with contrasting reflective tape 
  • you'll provide lighting on the scaffolding structure at night or after dark
  • you'll provide tapping boards and handrails for the full length of the scaffolding except for access points
  • you'll cover or provide padding for projections or protruding parts of the scaffolding to prevent injury to the public
  • if it is not practical to provide a safe route through the scaffolding or hoarding you'll provide an alternative route around the scaffolding
    • if you need to divert pedestrians onto the carriageway, you must provide signs in line with the Traffic Signs Manual (chapter 8). Pedestrians must be separated from traffic by a physical barrier, such as traffic separators
    • we'll agree the details with you before we issue the licence. You must put up the signs or alternative route before you start work

Hoarding conditions

  • you must mark hoardings and barriers with tape or colour contrasting paint
    • you'll provide lighting at night or after dark
    • doors must not open outwards onto the footway
    • the faces of the hoarding next to the footway and the highway must be free of any projections or surfaces that may cause injury to the public


As well as meeting the requirements of this code of practice, you'll meet all other street works and scaffolding regulations.

You must:

  • display the company name and phone number of the licensee on the scaffolding or hoarding (this can be an advert or sign)
  • erect or dismantle the scaffolding or hoarding between 8am and 6pm unless otherwise directed, for example on traffic sensitive streets or near schools
  • ensure the footway is not blocked with a vehicle
  • ensure the footway available to pedestrians is at least 1.2m wide at all times. If the footway is less than 1.2m you will need to direct pedestrians to the other side of the road (if its safe to do so) or provide an alternative, such as a walkway in the road