Agenda item

Highways Policy Reviews

To received a briefing and provide comments on proposed amendments to the highways policies currently being reviewed


(i)            List of Streets Policy

(ii)          Mirrors on the Highway Policy

(iii)         Pedestrian Crossing Policy

(iv)         Repairs to Private Streets Policy


The Committee received a briefing on the proposed amendments to four highways policies that were currently being reviewed by the Council.


The Highways Manager presented a report on each policy to the Committee in turn and asked for comments on the proposed policies prior to them being submitted to the Portfolio Holder for Environment for full approval. The Senior Technician and the Borough Traffic Engineer were also present to assist with answering the Committee’s questions on each policy.


The following points were made on the Amendments to List of Streets Policy:


·         Any street being considered for adoption must be up to an adoptable standard. If residents wished for a street to be adopted they had to be willing to bring it up to the standard themselves.

·         The policy formally sets out the procedure for bringing streets to the attention of the Council. Requests for the adoption of streets could be received from either internal or external person or organisation.

·         The Environment Portfolio Holder had authority to make decisions on adoption of streets.

·         Committee Members commented that Local Councils were in a prominent position to support officers and the Portfolio Holder in the gathering of evidence and decision making due to their local expertise and connection to the residents.

The following points were made on the Mirrors on the Highway Policy:

·         Sometimes a “blind exit” from a property or side road was dangerous – for both the driver emerging and those travelling along the main road. Whilst a mirror located on the main road might have helped those joining the road a mirror was legally an obstruction on the highway so could not be put up without the express permission of the Highway Authority and Department for Transport (DfT).

·         The applicant would be liable for the Council’s costs in dealing with the application from submission through to outcome. It was considered prudent that the Council require a deposit of £400 to cover the initial review. This was to ensure that the Council recovered its costs.

·         Committee Members commented that if a mirror was needed in the wider interests of safety for the community then the Council should pay for the installation and maintenance of a mirror. The Council needed to safe guard against abortive preliminary work by putting a charge on the initial review. Requests that were not considered necessary for public safety would need to be paid for by the applicant.

The following points were made on the Pedestrian Crossing Policy:


·         The policy provided a process for handling requests and the assessment procedure for determining the most appropriate form of crossing. The Council did not have a policy on the assessment of locations for pedestrian crossings at the time of the meeting.

·         The policy was flexible allowing officers to give regard to local interest and member involvement however evidence was always required for the request to meet the criteria.

·         The decision as to whether to install a crossing and the model of installation depended on the following factors: number of accidents, delays, local representations, local interest groups, cost, and relative priority with other sites.

The following points were made on the Repairs to Private Streets Policy:


·         The purpose of the policy was to provide guidance on how to deal with requests to repair un-adopted roads. The Council’s responsibility in respect of un-adopted roads differed to that for highways that were “maintainable at the public expense”.

·         The Policy would set out the Council’s consistent approach in dealing with requests from owners or frontagers to carry out repairs to private streets to obviate danger to traffic and or pedestrians.

·         A cap of £500 was seen by officers as a reasonable limit on costs of a single request that the Council would be willing to pay towards repairs of a private street. This equated roughly to one full days work on repairs, e.g. pothole filling. There was a budget for private street repairs of £5,000 per annum. This was to try to give the Council control over where and how often repairs to private streets would be carried out.



(a)  That the Committee offer the following comments on the Amendments to list of Streets policy. That:

                      i.        decisions to add or remove streets from the list should involve consultation with Local Members and Local Councils to get their feedback.

                    ii.        when Officers are seeking knowledge about streets local members should be consulted.

                   iii.        Parish Councils should be informed of amendments to the list of streets.

(b)  That the Committee offer the following comments on the Mirrors on the Highway policy, That:

                      i.        if there is a genuine issue of safety to all road users then the Authority should cover the cost of a mirror.

                    ii.        if requests for mirrors come from Local Area Partnerships or Parish Councils then the cost should not be borne by the resident.

                   iii.        the costs of putting in a mirror should be capped.

(c)  That the Committee offer the following comments on the Pedestrian Crossing policy. That:

                      i.        there shouldn’t need to be any previous accidents at a site before a crossing is consider necessary and the apprehension of danger should be enough to warrant serious consideration of a crossing being installed.

(d)  That the Officers be thanked for their attendance and the reports be noted.



Councillor A Thwaite left the meeting.


The Highways Manager, the Senior Technician and the Borough Traffic Engineer left the meeting.

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