The private street may have been in use as a highway for many years, but its condition is not to a standard which will permit the Highway Authority to adopt and take over responsibility for it. It may, for example, have no kerbs, footways, surface water sewers, gullies or lighting, and its surface is probably in a bad condition even though some of these features are present.
Note: The information given here is for guidance only and is not intended to be a detailed interpretation of the law.
The present position
Private Streets can pose a problem both to the council and those people who live on them. There are over 700 unmade private streets in the borough, totalling over 86 kilometres, or 53.5 miles in length.
In addition most terraced properties throughout the borough are serviced by back and side passageways. In many instances these are in poor condition and are similarly not maintained by the council.
Where possible the council looks to find ways of making up existing private streets at little or no cost to the people who live on these streets. As part of the work undertaken by the Council's Environmental Health and Consumer Protection Urban Renewal Section, schemes are carried out to improve both private streets and back passages within designated renovation areas, but this funding is limited.
The Highways Act 1980
The Highways Act 1980 provides powers enabling Wigan Council to adopt private streets once they have been built or made up to the required standards, and thereafter maintain them. Until that time the maintenance of private streets (including snow clearance) is the responsibility of the residents.
You can obtain a copy of the Highways Act and other highways legislation from The Office of Public Sector Information (External link).
The information given here is for guidance only and is not intended to be a detailed interpretation of the law.