Council maintainable routes, public highways and private roads

Most highways are maintainable at public expense by us. Private roads which have not been adopted are privately maintained.

What is a public highway? 

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

  • verges
  • pavements
  • roads and bridleways
  • public footpaths

Private and unadopted roads

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.

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
  • a third party - usually a developer

Council maintainable routes

We look after most publicly maintainable roads in Suffolk as the highway authority. The exception is trunk roads.

To find out if a route in Suffolk is maintainable by us, please view the list of streets.

The Highways Act 1980 sets out what constitutes a highway maintainable at public expense. It also describes how routes can be added to this network by being adopted by the highway authority.

Road naming and house numbering is the responsibility of the borough or district council. They are also responsible for the maintenance of street name signs.