Private roads / streets


A private road is a road that is not maintained by us and is usually unadopted. These roads are generally in a condition not meeting the standard of other adopted roads within the borough. The responsibility for private roads and streets lies with the road owners. These are usually the people who live on the road or street. 

How do I report a private road or 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) we can arrange to make safe by placing barriers or road closures around the hazard. However, the permanent remedials are then to be carried out by the owner/s. Contact us on 020 8356 2897 or report a roads and pavements defect.

Report a roads and pavements defect

How do I report a problem with gullies and drains on a private road or street? 

If you think a private road or street is dangerous (for example, if there's a missing gully lid) we'll arrange to make the problem safe temporarily. The owner will then need to make it safe permanently. You can contact us on 020 8356 2897 or report a drain or gully fault.

Report a drain or gully fault

How do I get a private road or street adopted? 

To get a road or street adopted the road or street must be constructed to adoptable standards. The costs of constructing a road or street to adoptable standards must be met by the the owners or residents.

We generally do not have a budget for this and cannot provide financial help. If you've got a question about a footpath or pavement, please contact us.

Road adoption and rights of way

Road adoption is a term used to describe the council taking ownership of a 'private street'.

A 'private street' is a road which is maintained at public expense. This means that we, as a highway authority, are under no obligation to carry out repairs or cleansing to the street, even though it could be a public right of way to which highway and traffic law can be applied.

New roads that have been constructed in accordance with our guidelines are normally adopted by way of an agreement between us and the developer under section 38 of the act. Existing roads will not normally be adopted unless they are brought up to current standards by the owners of the road. It may for example be unpaved, without kerbs, footways, surface water sewers, gullies and lighting or any of these features, and its surface is probably in a bad condition.

Under the provisions of Sections 205 to 218 of the Highways Act 1980, we may resolve to raising the standard of a private street by providing any or all of the missing features or by improving the standard of any existing features. This procedure enables us on completion of necessary remedial works to adopt the street as a highway maintainable at public expense.

Page updated: 20/03/2016 10:49:28