Private and Unadopted Roads - some information

We recently received some clarification from LBB’s Traffic and Road Safety Team about “Private” and “Unadopted” roads, which we felt would be valuable to share with members. The advice was in relation to one particular road in Chislehurst, but the principles would, we understand, apply everywhere.

ABC Road is currently shown in the Council’s non-statutory records as an “unadopted highway” this means that, in the Council’s view, it is a route over which the public has rights of passage, both on foot and with vehicles, but which is not maintainable at the public expense.

Because of the non-statutory nature of the Council’s records, they are open to challenge and the description of a road as a “highway” has been challenged by residents, who contend that it is a “private road” i.e. a route over which the public does not have access as of right.

ABC Road residents have had protracted correspondence with the Council’s solicitors regarding the status of the road, and, whilst it has never been conceded that ABC Road is anything other than an unadopted highway, I suspect that the challenge is in abeyance, rather than resolved. 

Whilst there is no right to park on any highway, the right being restricted to passing and repassing, where parking restrictions have not been imposed by the Highway Authority, it is expected that parking will be tolerated, subject to its duration and provided that it does not cause an actual obstruction of the highway.

The final paragraph about no right to park on any highway is interesting ! For more information, please see the article about parking, also in this Cockpit.