Obstructions on roads and footways

Information about obstructions on roads and footways, including how they can restrict access and are a potential safety hazard.

Obstructions are objects which have been unlawfully placed on or which overhang the public highway.

They can be a hazard for highway users, particularly those who are elderly, blind or disabled.  They can also force pedestrians to walk in the road because they cannot pass the obstruction.

The public highway consists of any verge, footway, carriageway, bridleway or footpath whether or not maintained at public expense and over which the public has a right of way.

Report a problem

You can report debris, weeds or mud on the road quickly and easily online using our Highways Reporting Tool.

Removal of obstructions

We take appropriate measures to remove unauthorised obstructions in order to keep roads and footpaths safe and available for use by the public. These include:

  • advertising signs such as "A" boards, free standing advertisements and other similar advertising structures (if you have a query related to advertising, please contact your district council as they are responsible for giving advertising consent and dealing with advertisements that breach planning regulations;
  • goods for sale
  • unlicensed tables and chairs (please see our highway licences page to find out how you can get a licence to place tables and chairs on the highway) 
  • vegetation (where vegetation is found to be obstructing the highway, a note of the location is made and the owner or occupier is requested to cut it back)

When we receive a report of a dangerous obstruction, we aim to deal with the report within 24 hours. Less serious obstructions will be assessed and given an appropriate priority. Sometimes no action will be taken.

Removal of advertising signs which create a nuisance or present a danger to users of the highway may be removed by us but we will take into account the guidelines set down in our Highway Advice Note ESE01 "Advertising signs in the highway".

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