You Ask, We Answer

We’re technical experts in the complex and ever-changing world of civil and structural engineering design and technical approval.

What information is required to undertake a S278 design?

Our answer is based on the Link team’s collective experience, which includes involvement in hundreds of projects of varying scales from inception through to construction on site, across the UK over the past 15 years.

Our simple answer is: More than you would expect!

One of Link’s main services involves Section 278 (S278) works to provide access to proposed developments and improvements to the existing highway. In order to agree the works within or onto the existing highway a detailed design package must be submitted to the local highway authority for technical approval and a legal agreement entered into between the developer and the highway authority.

In order for Link to progress the design work required, detailed information about the existing highway, drainage, lighting and services is required to inform the design and minimise the risk of unknowns during the construction stage. In this answer we shall go through a list of items that we advise our clients to provide to enable us to produce a comprehensive design package

If you are looking at a new site which would potentially require new access(es) onto an existing highway and want to know more about the technical approval process, please contact us at and we would be more than happy to provide you with some site specific advice.

Apr 19, 2022
Information typeReasons for requirement
OS Tile InformationOne of the main requirements is to have the background OS mapping to provide context to the scheme and to identify where it is in the wider area on the location plans.
Topographical SurveyA topographical survey is essential to identify all features of interest within the works area and to inform the design. This should be provided in both 2D & 3D formats, as we shall need to produce a 3D model of the proposed works, tying into the existing levels within the existing highway. It is important to note that this topographical survey shall need to cover the entire works area which could include a few hundred metres each way to incorporate the whole of any visibility splays associated with the S278 works. We can provide a detailed specification for the topographical survey requirements.
Service RecordsA services search is required to establish what services may be located within the area, as these may require diversion as part of any works. Service diversions are one of the main causes of delays on S278 works and early engagement with the asset owners is key.
Subscan SurveyAlthough a topographical survey may pick up all the surface features it is also important to know what is underground, whether this is services that may need diverting or drainage that could be utilised as part of the proposals.
Drainage CCTV SurveyOnce any drainage features have been clarified it is important to establish the connectivity and condition of the existing drainage features to determine whether they can be reused or need replacing.
Traffic Flow DataTraffic flow data is important to establish both the existing and proposed traffic usage along the highway. This informs both the form of any proposals (roundabout, signalised junction, etc) and the pavement design (how thick the road construction needs to be).
Arboricultural SurveyAn arboricultural survey is needed to determine the location of any trees and the influence of their root protection zones (RPZs).
Bondsman DetailsAs part of the S278 agreement the highway authority shall require a bond to be deposited with them to cover the cost of the works in the event that the contractor is unable to complete the works themselves. This can take the form of a bond or a cash deposit.
Solicitor DetailsThe details of the clients legal representatives are required so that the council know who to send the draft legal agreement to.