Pavement Maintenance (Including Dangerous Paving) & Private Streets
This Council, as Highway Authority, has responsibility for the maintenance of the highway, including pavements and footways.
- Carriageway = surfaced road. Terms in general usage – "road"
- Footway = Hard surface, usually alongside a road (carriageway / pavement). Terms in general usage – "path", "pavement"
- Footpath = Public Right of Way (often across a field) and un-surfaced.
- Problems dealt with by the Public Rights of Way Section
Definition of Defects
- Pothole. Potholes greater than 25mm. deep and more than 200mm in all directions.
- Damaged Safety Fence. Impact damage to safety fence that has caused failure and/or pushed it into the carriageway or footway to create a dangerous obstruction.
- Damaged Signs. Missing, inconspicuous or obstructed 'Stop' and other mandatory signs (e.g. "Give Way"speed restriction).
- Obstructed Signs. Mandatory, regulatory or warning signs not easily visible (e.g. obstructed by vegetation).
- Damaged Lighting Columns/Illuminated Signs/Bollards. Evidence of vehicle impact or vandal damage / missing covers.
- Displaced Road Studs. Dislodged or missing metal road studs.
- Overriding of Verges. Overriding of verges, causing rutting along the edge of the carriageway greater than 150mm deep.
- Broken Ironwork. (ie "drain" & hydrant covers, manhole lids) Ironwork which is broken, has sunk abruptly (not dished) or protrudes more than 25mm in the carriageway and 10mm in the footway.
- Dislodged or Missing Kerbs. Any kerb which projects more than 25mm into the carriageway or footway. Any sharp edge created as a result of a missing kerb.
- Dislodged or Missing Setts (often referred to as "cobble stones"). Any sett which projects more than 50mm into the carriageway or footway. Any sharp edge created as a result of a missing sett.
- Trenches. Any trench that has settled or is raised more than 25mm in the carriageway or footway.
- Obstructions. Any obstruction on the carriageway and footway which is considered hazardous for vehicle drivers or pedestrians.
- Footway Trips/Depressions. Trips and rocking slabs greater than 10mm, and rapid change of footway profile greater than 25mm and extending horizontally less than 600mm
Type of Defect and Timescale for Action
- Pothole.Target response time 1 day
- Damaged Safety Fence. Target response time 2 days
- Damaged signs (stop and other mandatory signs).Target response time 2 days
- Obstructed signs (stop and other mandatory signs). Target response time 2 days
- Obstructed signs (all other regulatory/warning signs). Target response time 14 days
- Damaged lighting columns/illuminated signs/bollards. Target response time 1 day
- Displaced milled road studs. Target response time 2 days
- Overriding verges.Target response time 14 days
- Broken ironwork. Target response time 1 day
- Dislodged kerbs. Target response time 2 days
- Dislodged setts. Target response time 3 days
- Uneven trenches. Target response time 1 day
- Obstructions. Target response time 7 days
- Footway trips/depressions. Target response time 1 day
The response time for each defect refers to the number of ordinary working days following the day the defect was either notified to the Highways Office by a third party or the number of working days following the day the defect was recorded by the highways inspector or other member of the Highways staff.
Where any of the above defects are regarded as dangerous then they should be repaired or made safe within 24 hours. The degree of severity should dictate the urgency with which the defect is actioned.
The response time for each dangerous defect starts at the time the defect was first notified to the Highways Office by a third party, or at the time the highways inspector first notes the existence of such a defect.
The Audit Commission refer to a “dangerous defect” as one which falls within the definition given in para. 52 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. The NRSWA definition refers to “Emergency Works” whose execution is required to prevent the occurrence of circumstances, existing or imminent, which are likely to cause danger to persons or property.
The definition of a dangerous defect is thus one to which a degree of judgement must be applied to decide whether, in the particular circumstances (e.g. taking account of the category and speed limit of the road) the defect should be regarded as dangerous.
Where such a defect has been classed as dangerous then the details of the defect and the response time which has been achieved should be entered in a Dangerous Damage Record which records the action taken and response time for submission to the Audit Commission as a performance indicator.
Whilst safety inspections are in progress, Inspectors should take note of other defects. Such defects are other than those listed in paragraph 4.3 where it is judged necessary for appropriate work to be carried out to prevent the defect either becoming a safety defect, or that the defect needs to be included in the maintenance programme.
Such defects could include trees and hedges that require attention either by the Highway Authority or frontager.
Please note: In the case of damage, it is important, if possible, to report the vehicle details/findings so that the Council can recover the full cost of repairs.
When works are being undertaken on the highway, the organisation, which may include utility companies, carrying out those works is responsible for ensuring there is a safe diversionary route for pedestrians and other traffic and to carry out a satisfactory reinstatement.
To report any problems, please use the online Highways Problem Report form below. Alternatively, use the contact details above.
A private street is one that is not maintainable by the Council. Streets that are unadopted are generally in a poor condition. These are usually "unmade" (ie no bituminous surface) or may consist of setts (commonly referred to as cobbles).
The responsibility for private streets lies with the street owners usually those who live on the street.
How do I report a private street that is unsafe?
This is usually the responsibility of the owner (usually the frontager). If the problem is thought to be a 'danger' (for example a deep hole in the road suddenly appearing) the Council can arrange to make safe by placing barriers or road closures around the hazard. However, permanent remedials are a matter for the owner/s.
How do I report a problem with gullies and drains on a private street?
If thought to be dangerous (for example missing gully lid) the Council will arrange to make safe and then the owner will need to replace.
How do I get a private street adopted?
To get a street adopted the street must be brought up to an adoptable standard. The costs of bringing a street to adoptable standard must be met by the street owners/residents.
The Council does not have a budget for this and cannot offer any financial help.
If you have any query regarding a footway or carriageway please use the Highways Problem Report Form below. Alternatively, use the contact details above.