It's an offence, under the Highways Act 1980, to cause an obstruction on the highway (roads, pavements, verges, footpaths and bridleways).
Types of obstruction
Obstructions are objects unlawfully placed on, or which overhang, the highway, including:
- builders' skips (see apply for a skip licence)
- scaffolding or hoardings (see apply for a licence for scaffolding or hoardings)
- building materials
- temporary works
- tree branches and hedges
- mud or debris
- illegal signs
- street traders
- encroachment on highway boundaries (where someone illegally occupies an area of the highway)
Obstructions can be hazardous to pedestrians, especially those who are elderly, blind or disabled, forcing them to walk in the road because they can't pass the obstruction.
Caravans and trailers
If you own a caravan or trailer, you should store it on your own property.
It's an offence to keep a caravan or a trailer on the public highway for longer than 24 hours.
We're responsible for clearing fallen trees from the borough's roads. In an emergency, you can report a fallen tree by calling (01226) 773555 (24 hours).
Call 999 if a fallen tree may be a potential risk to someone's safety or where there's been a collision with a tree and people have been injured.
Removal of obstructions
We're responsible for keeping the borough's roads and pavements fit for the motorists and pedestrians who use them. If you wilfully obstruct them, you may be guilty of an offence.
You can check if an obstruction's already been reported to us, and the status of existing reports, on the map below.
Report an obstruction
If the road or pavement obstruction you're reporting isn't on the map, please tell us about it using our online form.
Don't use this form to report:
- obstructive parking (use our obstructive parking form)
- fly-tipping (use our fly-tipping form)
- obstructions on private land (contact the landowner in these cases)
Call our 24 hour helpline if the obstruction's likely to cause a road traffic accident.
You'll need to show us on a map where the obstruction is by clicking to drop a pin. You'll also need to tell us as much detail as you can about the nature of the obstruction. You can upload a photo of the obstruction as well, if you have one.
You can make your report anonymously, but if you'd like a receipt and reference number you need to tell us your email address.
Please note, reports won't be picked up outside office hours or over bank holidays.
After you've made your report
After you've submitted the form the obstruction you’ve reported will appear as a pin on the map. You might need to wait a couple of minutes and refresh your screen to be able to see the status of your report.
The pin will stay on the map for at least 28 days, during which time you can come back to the webpage to check the status of your report.
Once the pin drops off the map you won't be able make further enquiries about your report, unless you have your reference number.
What we'll do
When we receive your report we'll investigate the obstruction and if it's unauthorised we'll take appropriate action.