Roads Act 1993
Abandonment of public roads.
12.—(1) Save as is provided for in section 73, a road authority shall not abandon a public road except in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(2) Where a road authority proposes to abandon a public road it shall—
(a) publish in one or more newspapers circulating in the area where the public road proposed to be abandoned is located a notice indicating the times at which, the period (which shall be not less than one month) during which and the place where a map showing such public road may be inspected and stating that objections or representations may be made in writing to the road authority in relation to such proposal before a specified date (which shall be not less than two weeks after the end of the period for inspection) and stating that persons making such objections or representations may make a request in writing to state their case at an oral hearing conducted by a person appointed by the road authority for that purpose,
(b) affix a copy of such notice in a prominent position at each end of the public road proposed to be abandoned and leave it in place for a period or periods which shall in aggregate be not less than fourteen days,
(c) consider any objections or representations made to it under paragraph (a) and not withdrawn,
(d) if it considers it appropriate, afford an opportunity to persons making objections or representations and who so request in writing to state their case at an oral hearing conducted by a person appointed by the road authority and consider the report and any recommendation of the person so appointed.
(3) (a) A road authority may make an order abandoning the public road specified in the notice published under subsection (2) (a), or a part thereof.
(b) A road authority shall not make an order under paragraph (a) until it has complied with subsection (2).
(4) (a) An order made under subsection (3) relating to a national road or a regional road shall have no effect unless and until the Minister approves the order.
(b) The Minister may, by order, approve the order with or without modifications or he may refuse to approve the order.
(c) The Minister shall consult with the Authority before making an order under this subsection relating to a national road.
(5) (a) A road authority shall no longer be responsible for the maintenance—
(i) of a local road — from the date on which the order abandoning it is made by the road authority,
(ii) of a national road or a regional road — from the date on which the Minister approves with or without modifications the order abandoning it.
(b) The abandonment of a public road shall not affect any public right of way over such road and a road authority shall not do anything to interfere with such right of way save as is provided for in law.
(6) A road authority shall as soon as may be after a public road has been abandoned publish notice of such abandonment in the newspaper or newspapers in which notice of the proposed abandonment was published under subsection (2) (a) and shall notify in writing any person who made written objections or representations to it in relation to such abandonment.
(7) The consideration of objections or representations and the report and any recommendations of a person appointed under subsection (2) and the making of an order under subsection (3) shall be reserved functions.
(8) A person who, without lawful authority, removes, or who defaces or damages a notice erected under subsection (2) (b) shall be guilty of an offence.
(9) Where, before the repeal of section 26 of the Act of 1925 by section 4, an application has been made to the Minister under the said section 26 for an order abandoning a public road and such application has not been determined by the Minister or withdrawn, the application shall continue to be dealt with and determined as if the said section 26 had not been repealed.
(10) (a) The Minister may make regulations for the purposes of this section.
(b) Regulations under this subsection may, in particular and without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a), specify criteria for the abandonment of public roads and a road authority shall comply with any such specified criteria when exercising its functions under this section.