Unadopted Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Department for Transport written question – answered at on 26 March 2024.

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Photo of Lisa Nandy Lisa Nandy Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department are taking to enforce the repair of potholes by owners of unadopted roads where such damage poses a danger to (a) traffic and (b) the public.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

This is a matter for local highway authorities.

Under the 1980 Highways Act, the highway authority is responsible for the management of those streets that have been adopted by it, or its predecessor authorities. A road that is not maintained at public expense by a highway authority is known as a private street, as defined by Section 203(2) of the Act. The responsibility for management of private streets generally rests with those who own properties that either front onto or border the street concerned (known as “frontagers”).

Under section 230 of the 1980 Highways Act the local highway authority has the power, without commitment to adoption, to require the frontagers of a private street to carry out urgent repairs, within in a set time limit, to prevent danger to road users or the public. This is, however, entirely a matter for local authorities.

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