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Road adoption

Road adoption is a term used to describe the county council taking responsibility for the maintenance of a private road.

A 'private road' is maintained by the road owners. This means that we, as the highway authority, are under no obligation to carry out repairs or cleansing to the street, even though it could be a public right of way to which highway and traffic law can be applied.

New roads that have been constructed in accordance with our guidelines are normally adopted by way of an agreement with the developer under Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980. Find out more about Section 38 and Section 278 road agreements.

Existing roads will not normally be adopted unless they are brought up to current standards by the owners of the road. It may for example be unpaved, without kerbs, footways, surface water sewers, gullies and lighting or any of these features, and its surface is probably in a bad condition.

Under the provisions of Sections 205 to 218 of the Highways Act, we may resolve to raise the standard of a private street by providing any or all of the missing features or by improving the standard of any existing features. This procedure enables us, on completion of necessary remedial works, to adopt the street as a highway maintainable at public expense.

To contact us about road adoption, please call 01243 642105 or use our feedback form.


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