Roads Act 1993

Responsibility of road authorities for the maintenance and construction of public roads.


13. F10 [ (1) Subject to Part III , the maintenance and construction of all national and regional roads in a county or city is a function of the council of that county or city.

(2) It is the function of a local authority to maintain and construct all local roads

( a ) in the case of a county council in its administrative area, other than the administrative area of any borough or town referred to in Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 6 to the Local Government Act 2001 situated within the county of the council, and

( b ) in the case of any other local authority in its administrative area.

(3) The local authorities referred to in subsections (1) and (2) are road authorities for the purposes of the roads referred to in those subsections and shall, subject to Part III and in respect of those roads, perform all the functions assigned to road authorities by or under any enactment (including this Act) or instrument.

(4) The expenses of a county council in respect of its functions under subsection (2) shall be charged on the county of the council exclusive of any borough or town that is situated within the county. ]

(5) In the performance of their functions under subsections (1) and (2), a road authority shall consider the needs of all road users.

(6) ( a) A person or group of persons may, with the consent of a road authority, carry out maintenance works on a local road.

( b) A consent under paragraph (a) may be given by the road authority subject to such conditions, restrictions and requirements as it thinks fit.

( c) Where a road authority gives its consent under paragraph (a) and the works have been carried out in a bona fide manner and in accordance with every condition, restriction or requirement specified under paragraph (b)

(i) the works shall be deemed to have been carried out by the road authority, and

(ii) the person or group (and each member thereof) who carried out the works shall be indemnified by the road authority against all actions and claims howsoever arising in respect of the works and the carrying out of works.

( d) A road authority may provide materials, plant, equipment and the services of its staff to a person or group carrying out works under this subsection.

(7) A road authority may do all such things as arise out of or are consequential on or are necessary or expedient for the performance of its functions under this Act or otherwise in relation to public roads or are ancillary thereto.

(8) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (7) and save as otherwise provided by law, a road authority may—

( a) provide any amenity, structure or thing for the safety or convenience of road users,

( b) undertake landscaping, planting or any similar activity in the interests of amenity and the environment,

( c) provide artistic features.

(9) Notwithstanding the definition of “ road” in section 2 , nothing in this Act shall be construed as imposing on a road authority any liability, duty or obligation to—

( a) construct or maintain fences or retaining walls adjoining a public road which are the responsibility of any other person and which do not form part of the road, or

( b) construct or maintain any bridges, tunnels, railway crossings or any other structure which by virtue of any enactment are the responsibility of a railway company or other person.

(10) ( a) A person who, without lawful authority or the consent of a road authority—

(i) defaces a public road by writing or by any other means,

(ii) damages a public road,

(iii) excavates a public road,

(iv) (I) places or deposits any material or thing on a public road,

(II) permits dung or urine from an animal owned by him or any material or thing which falls from a vehicle owned or used by him, to be left on a public road, or

(III) does any other thing,

such that the material, thing, dung or urine or the doing of such other thing is a hazard or potential hazard to persons using a public road or obstructs or interferes with the safe use of a public road or the maintenance of a public road, shall be guilty of an offence.

( b) A consent under paragraph (a) may be given by the road authority subject to such conditions, restrictions or requirements as it thinks fit and any person who fails to comply with such conditions, restrictions or requirements shall be guilty of an offence.

( c) Where a person does anything in contravention of paragraph (a), a road authority may remove any defacement, repair any damage, fill in any excavation, remove any material, thing, dung or urine or remove or reduce any hazard, potential hazard, obstruction or interference and may recover from such person, as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction, any costs reasonably incurred by it.