Private streets (unadopted roads)

Unadopted roads, how to find out if they are private and maintenance of adopted roads.

Private streets (known as 'unadopted roads') are not taken care of by us. The people who live on the street or the housing association are in charge of repairing or cleaning the road. This is the same for public rights of way that are private. 

Adopted roads

A private street becomes a public road when it has been 'adopted' by us. We look after all adopted roads.

New roads are usually adopted under Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980.

Private streets are not adopted until the people who own the street have made sure it meets the right rules. For example, the road will not be adopted by us if it:

  • is unpaven
  • in bad condition
  • missing features such as kerbs, gullies or lighting

The rules in Sections 205 to 218 of the Highways Act 1980 say that we can agree to help make a private street better if we want to adopt the road. We may add any or all of the missing features or improve what is already there.

When the work has been done, we can then adopt the road.

Public or private street

Find out how to check if a street is adopted or unadopted.

Road maintenance programme

We regularly check every adopted road. If there is an area of road or pavement that may be dangerous for road users or pedestrians, we will arrange a repair.

Structural surveys

Every year we carry out a visual survey of the conditions of all the roads. We use the findings to draw up our annual structural maintenance programme.