Skip to content

Hertfordshire County Council

The county council as highway authority is a statutory consultee for all planning applications with transport impact, as well as authorising authority for any resulting highway works (under Section 278 and Section 38 agreements) required as part of a development.

Pre-application advice Planning applications Section 278 agreement Road adoption (Section 38) Travel plans Highway design guide Planning obligations guidance toolkitOur approach to Section 106 agreements or ‘planning gain’.


Pre-application advice

We welcome and encourage discussions on the transport impacts of new development proposals before a developer submits a planning application.  

By seeking transport pre-application advice, developers are able to work collaboratively with us to solve problems, enhance sustainability, improve the quality of designs and provide more certainty for stakeholders.  

Read more:

Email for more information.


Planning applications

We comment on all planning applications which have an impact on transport.

Contact your local district or borough council for information on planning applications.

Your district or borough council

The county council is the Local Planning Authority for planning applications involving mineral workings, waste management activities and our own services.


Section 278 agreement

As the highway authority, we give authorisation for any work on the highway.

Work cannot begin until the Section 278 agreement is completed and a bond (if necessary) is secured.

Any unauthorised work on the highway, undertaken without a Section 278 agreement (or other required highway consent), will result in enforcement action taken against the developer and / or contractor. That includes the recovery of costs.

Becoming an approved contractor to work on the public highway

Work on the public highway can only be undertaken by a contractor that we approve.

As the local highway authority in Hertfordshire, we provide a free assessment of contractors that want to undertake works on the public highway. 

How to apply
Email us a copy of:

  • your valid CHAS Certificate and a covering letter. You must be CHAS approved.
  • a copy of your £10million Public Liability Insurance
  • Proof of experience of working on the Highways
  • 2 references.

Do I need to be approved for s278, s38 and s50 works?
Yes, you must be approved by us to carry out these works on the public highway.

Even if we've approved you, you still need to get a Section 50 licence.

What constitutes breach or removal from the list?

  • Breach of any Highway related current Legislation, i.e. The Traffic Management Act, New Roads & Street Works Act and The Highways Act.
  • Failure to comply with current Safety at Street Works and Road Works (CoP).
  • Working on the highway without the required agreement or a permit being in place.
  • Repeated poor quality work.
  • Use of a non-approved sub-contractor.

For more information email


Road adoption (Section 38)

New roads

New roads that have been constructed by developers will normally be adopted through a Section 38 Agreement.

Once a road is adopted it is ‘highway maintainable at public expense’.

Until a road is adopted, its maintenance remains the responsibility of either the developer/owner and/ or those living along the road.

Existing roads

If you would like to offer an existing road for adoption as highway
maintainable at public expense, the following criteria will need to be satisfied:

  • The road provides wider public utility
  • The road must be constructed to an adoptable standard
  • The road must be offered for adoption by the owner (usually the developer) of the road.
  • An Agreement under the terms of Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980 is made between the owner/developer and the County Council.

Find out if your road is adopted


Travel plans

Travel plans are essential for sustainable development. They aim to deliver sustainable transport objectives through a positive action plan.

We've created a Travel plan guidance document for business and residential development (May 2014) to help create a good travel plan. 

As part of the BigHertsBigIdeas business partnership, we're inviting businesses to develop a transport strategy or travel plan with the aim of promoting more efficient and sustainable ways of travelling in the county.

If you have any questions, email us at


Highway design guide

New design guide chapters

We're sharing previews of new design guide chapters here.

We'll keep adding new chapters.

Give us your feedback at

Hertfordshire County Council’s design guide, replacing ‘Roads in Herts’ during 2019, sets out:

  • detailed design advice for highway improvements made by the county council, our agents, developers or any other third party
  • advice about the layout of highway infrastructure and features
  • the standards to be met before the county council can adopt a highway.


Design guide chapters

3. Highway safety

4. Pedestrian facilities and street furniture

5. Rights of Way

6. Cycling

Cycling – chapter draft (DOC, 4.2mb)

This section summarises:

7. Bus facilities

8. Structures and Vehicle Restraint Systems

9. Drainage

Drainage chapter – draft (DOC, 83kb)

This section summarises:

10. Landscaping

11. Lighting

Lighting chapter – draft (DOC, 94kb)

This section summarises highway electrical equipment, including:

  • road lighting
  • lit signs
  • lit bollards
  • feeder pillars
  • ancillary equipment.

12. Signs and markings

13. ITS and signals

14. Traffic calming

15. Parking

Parking chapter – draft (DOC, 3.3mb)

This section summarises:

16. Site clearing and earthworks

17. Carriageways, kerbs and footways

Take a look at the current Highway design guide

Rate this page


Like many other websites, we place small information files called 'cookies' on your computer.

Why do we use cookies?

To remember your settings, for example your language and location. This means you don’t have to keep entering these details when you visit a new page.

To find out how you use the site to help us update and improve it.

How do I change my cookie settings?

You can change the settings of your web browser so that it won’t accept cookies. For more information visit

But, doing this may stop you from using some of the online features and services on this website. 

Cookies we use

Cookies do a lot of different jobs, and we use 2 types of cookies:

Required functionality cookies – these cookies are essential for the website to work.

Performance and feature cookies – these cookies help to improve the performance and feel of this website, for example providing you with personalised services.

Take a look at a list of cookies we use on our website:

NameTypeHow we use itHow long we use the information for



Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.



Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.


Required functionality

To track the effectiveness of our website using Google Analytics. 

2 years


Performance and feature

To save the pages that you visit by clicking the heart at the top of the page. 

1 month


Performance and feature

This stores your postcode (or partial postcode) when we ask you for your location.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).


Performance and feature

This stores your location as a pair of latitude / longitude coordinates.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).


Performance and feature

This keeps a history of all answers submitted to the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.


Performance and feature

This keeps a history of what content cards are clicked on when using the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.


Required functionality

This used to track user sessions on forms hosted on

Just for the time you are on our website.

Third party cookies

There are links and content from other sites and services on our website. These sites and services set their own cookies.

Below are a list of cookies that the other sites and services use:

Service namePurposeMore information

Google analytics (_utma/b/c/z)

These are used to compile reports for us on how people use this site.

Cookies of the same names are also used for the same purpose by other websites such as Building FuturesCountryside Management Service and Hertfordshire LIS.

Visit the Google Analytics website for more information about the cookies they use.

You can prevent data from being collected and used by Google Analytics by installing Google's Opt-out Browser Add-on.

Google Translation - googtrans

This cookie is used to remember which language to translate each page into if you have chosen to do so.

It expires at the end of your browser session.


We use a Bing cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Bing to find out more about their cookies.


We use a Google cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Google to find out more about their cookies.


We have a number of presences on Facebook, which we may link to. Facebook may set some of its own cookies if you follow these links.

Visit Facebook to find out more about their cookies.


We have a number of presences and feeds on Twitter, which you may wish to follow or read from this website. Twitter may set some of its own cookies.

Visit Twitter to find out more about their cookies.


We have a YouTube channel, which we may link to. YouTube may set some of its own cookies if you follow those links.

Visit YouTube to find out more about their cookies.


This ASP.NET_Sessionid cookie is essential for the Netloan secure online payments website to work, and is set when you arrive to the site. This cookie is deleted when you close your browser.



This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels.

Visit HotJar to find out more about their cookies.


These cookies are set to help us report on how people are using the site so we can improve it.

Visit Siteimprove to learn more about their cookies.