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Road ownership

View a list of roads (pdf 855KB) in Medway that shows which are publicly maintainable and which are private or mixed.

Request a map of areas, roads or properties in Medway

A map will be provided with additional detailed information of any highway or traffic schemes or land within 200m (218.7yds) of the selected location.

Fees will apply to Solicitors, Housing developers and Land search agencies. You will be contacted regarding the relevant fee. Fees are £22.60 for an A4 plan or £33.70 for an A3 plan. Each additional question asked on any search for road adoption will be charged at £5.50 per question. Payment for these charges can be made via debit/credit card.

Road adoption

The term 'adoption' is used to define maintenance responsibility for the road. Whether a road is likely to be adopted by the council or not depends on the developer. The developer is whoever signed the Road Agreement or Notice, which may be a housing association, landowner, or builder. The developer must finish building the road to agreed standards, including remedial works and legal and financial requirements. They then choose whether the road is to be adopted by the council. We cannot force the developer to do this nor our we able to affect the timing of the work being carried out.

If a road is adopted, we will be responsible for:

  • the repair of the roads and paths
  • street lights
  • sweeping
  • winter gritting of main routes and gully cleaning
  • the highway surface water drainage system
  • the service margins or landscaped areas

We are not responsible for maintaining unadopted roads.

If a Section 38 agreement is signed, the developer, as street manager, maintains the road until adoption is complete. If no agreement or notice under the Act has been entered into, the developer or a private management company remains responsible for the road and the road is private. If a road is to remain private, costs will be the responsibility, jointly, of all the householders with a frontage on the road. A road will also remain private if the council does not receive fees or information from the developer.

The council cannot force private developers to carry out work on an unadopted road. It can and does make representations on behalf of residents of new roads but it has no powers under the Act to make developers comply.

Section 38 agreement

The Highways Act 1980 contains various provisions whereby roads can be adopted by the highway authority as highways maintainable at public expense. New roads that have been built in accordance with Medway Council guidelines are normally adopted by way of an agreement between the developer or client and the council under Section 38 of the Act. Other parties, such as housing associations, may also be attached to the agreement. Existing private roads will not normally be adopted unless the owners of the road bring them up to current standards.

Section 278 agreement

Alterations to be made to an existing public highway maintainable at public expense can be carried out using a Section 278 Agreement in accordance with the Act.

Section 37 notice

Roads that have not been adopted under an agreement and are not deemed private can become a public highway by means of a developer or client entering into a Section 37 Notice in accordance with the Act's provisions.