Adopted roads

When we ‘adopt’ a road, it means that the council becomes responsible for maintaining and repairing it.  Until a road has been adopted, it remains private and the responsibility of the developer or land owner.  

Existing private streets 

Private streets are ‘unadopted’ roads that are not maintained at public expense, which means that we're not responsible for cleaning or repairing them, even though they may be public rights of way to which highway and traffic law can be applied.

Usually, the landowner or the owners of the properties fronting the street are responsible for its repair and maintenance.

New private streets

We'll adopt new private streets, providing they’ve been constructed in accordance with our guidelines, by an agreement under Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980.

We won't adopt existing private streets if they’re in poor condition, for example if they don’t have pavements, drainage or street lighting.

Getting a road adopted

If you want to get a road adopted, you'll need to give us notice under Section 37 of the Highways Act 1980.

Having a road adopted is a long and costly process, potentially running into thousands of pounds.

We would need to:

  • assess the condition of the road surface and street lighting
  • review the existing road layout and construction
  • undertake drainage surveys
  • request consent from the landowner(s)

If you want advice about bringing a road up to an adoptable standard, please fill in our enquiry form.