To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport
(1) if he will bring forward proposals to increase the powers of enforcement available to local authorities to ensure that roads and amenity spaces are brought up to an appropriate standard for adoption;
(2) by what mechanisms local authorities ensure that roads and amenity spaces are brought up to an appropriate standard for adoption.
Under the Highways Act 1980, local highway authorities may adopt streets that they are not currently responsible for maintaining. It is for individual authorities to decide whether they wish to adopt particular streets, taking account of local priorities, but a street may be adopted only if the majority of owners in that street agree. The Act also provides powers, under the private street works code, for a highway authority to bring a street up to the standard required for adoption and to recover the costs from frontagers.
If a developer intends that a street on a new development should become part of the public highway network, it should either provide a deposit or bond to cover the cost of ensuring the street meets the standard for adoption, or enter into an adoption agreement with the local highway authority. Enquiries made by purchasers' solicitors should reveal what arrangements are being made by the developer in relation to adoption of the street.
We have not received representations from local authorities that these long-standing statutory arrangements are insufficient, so we have no current proposals for changes.