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Reporting problems with pavements and maintenance of private streets

Most councils are responsible for maintaining pavements, including making sure they are free from obstructions such as skips or scaffolding, and keeping them safe in icy conditions. On a private street, responsibility for maintenance lies with its owners, but you can apply to get the road adopted by the council.

What your council can do

Your council is usually responsible for making sure pavements are free from trip hazards and other defects to ensure public safety. This includes removing weeds, replacing broken or stolen slabs, supplying grit in icy conditions, and keeping pavements clear of snow.

The council is not however responsible for maintaining a private street. A private street is a street that is not maintained by the council. The responsibility for private streets lies with the street owners, usually those who live on the street. However, if a problem is thought to be a 'danger' (for example, a deep hole in the road suddenly appearing) the council can arrange to make it safe by placing barriers or road closures around the hazard. However, permanent repairs are then carried out by the owner or owners.

Reporting damaged pavements

Pavements or footways may become damaged due to a utility company, such as a gas or telecoms company, carrying out works. These companies are responsible for providing a safe route for pedestrians and other traffic to pass. They are also responsible for making sure the pavement is left in good condition after the work is completed.

You can report damaged pavements or broken or missing pavement slabs to your local council using the links below.

Types of obstruction

Obstructions can be a nuisance for pedestrians and can be in the form of:

  • a skip or scaffolding obstructing the pavement
  • no barriers around streetworks/roadworks and building work affecting pedestrian safety
  • building materials blocking the pavement
  • an advertising board blocking the pavement

If you encounter any of the above obstructions and would like to report it, please contact your local council. The following link will let you enter details of where you live and then take you to your local authority website where you can find out more.

Request road gritting and snow clearance

You can request that your local council grits pavement and remove snow in cold weather. The following links will let you enter details of where you live and then take you to your local authority website where you can find out more.

Getting a private street adopted by the council

If you live on a private street and would like the council to take over responsibility for maintaining it, you can apply to get your road adopted. To get a street adopted the street must be constructed to the adoptable standards set out by the council. The costs of constructing a street to correct standards must be met by the street owners or residents.

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