Council maintainable routes, public highways and private roads

Information on maintainable highways (List of Streets), road adoption, highway boundaries and "stopping up".

A public highway includes any route over which the public has the right of way, including:

  • roads
  • pavements
  • verges
  • public footpaths
  • bridleways
  • byways
  • cycleways

Not all public highways are maintainable by Suffolk County Council. An unadopted and/or private road is not maintainable by us (see more information in the "Private and unadopted roads" section on this page. 

You can find out if a road or path is maintainable by us by visiting findmystreet.co.uk. This is an external website using information derived from Suffolk County Council's digital Local Street Gazetteer.

You can search by using a map, or you can search for a road using the National Gazetteer List of Street. Whichever search you use, you will be asked to provide the name of the Local Highway Authority Area (for example, Suffolk) before entering the name of the road.

While considerable care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the Street Gazetteer, Suffolk County Council cannot accept any responsibility for errors, omissions, or positional accuracy. There are no warranties, expressed or implied, including the warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, accompanying this product.

However, if you have a question regarding the data, please email highwayrecords@suffolkhighways.org. If you have identified a missing street, please email dataquality@suffolkhighways.org.

If you need help to find out the extent of highway maintainable at public expense by Suffolk County Council, please read the section "Highway boundary information" below.

We may be able to provide more information in relation to the extent of the highway boundary. You can request this by emailing a location plan and details of your request to highwayrecords@suffolkhighways.org.

There is usually a charge for this information based on whether we already hold the information you are requesting or whether we have to carry out research. Charges start at £45 plus VAT. 

We will send you a quote, and if you decide to go ahead with your request, we will send you details on how to pay.

Once we have received payment, we will proceed with your request and send our response to you in your preferred format (electronic or paper).

Please be aware that due to the high volume of correspondence, and the amount of research that may need to be undertaken, responses to straight-forward requests may take 4 weeks and more complex requests may take up to 8 weeks.

An unadopted and/or private road is any route that is not maintainable by the council. 

It can be a track leading to a farm, a residential road or a route built by a third party (usually a developer).   

Maintenance of private roads is usually the responsibility of the owner(s).  This may be the residents of a road who each own the part in front of their house or a third party.

This means that we are under no obligation to carry out repairs or cleaning to the road, even though it could be a public right of way to which highway and traffic law can be applied. 

It is possible for areas of the highway to be "stopped up", a process where the highway rights are removed and control over the land reverts to the freehold or leasehold owner of the subsoil. This can be done to allow for development (as long as appropriate planning permission has been obtained) or to remove sections of highway that are unnecessary for public use.

Stopping up highway to allow for development

When developing land, it is possible to apply for a stopping up order under Section 247 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.

  • For the application to be successful, the applicant has to have applied for, and obtained, planning permission.
  • The National Transport Casework Team then reviews the application to decide whether to grant a stopping up order for the section of highway.
  • If the application is successful, then the works, for which planning permission has been granted, can be undertaken.  

For the application form and further guidance please visit the GOV.UK website.

Stopping up highway that is unnecessary for public use

Areas of public highway sometimes become unnecessary for public use and the highway rights can then be "stopped up" under Section 116 of the Highways Act 1980

Should you wish to enquire about permanently "stopping up" an area of highway that is unnecessary for public use, please contact us for advice: 

            Highway Records,
            Suffolk Highways
            3 Goddard Road
            Ipswich
            IP1 5NP

For more information about this process, please read the stopping up application guidance (Word, 42KB)

How can I get a street renamed? 

Please contact the borough or district council for the location.

How can I get a house renumbered?

Please contact the borough or district council for the location.

How can I report a problem with a street name sign? 

Please contact the borough or district council for the location.

Is my street adopted?

Please visit findmystreet.co.uk.

How can I get a street adopted? 

Please read the information on the Estate Road Specification page on this website.

How can I get a street stopped up? 

Please read the information in the "Changes to the extent of the highway" section on this page.

How can I get a copy of a Section 38 Agreement

Visit the Suffolk Legal website and look under the section headed other information.