Highways and pavements obstructions

Before you start​

What we deal with

We deal with hazards that are blocking roads and pavements. For example, scaffolding, skips and roadworks - see 'What is a hazard' below.

What we don't deal with

We do not deal with cars or other vehicles blocking pavements. Please contact the Police on non-emergency 101 for this.

What we need to know

  • Where the hazard is
  • What the hazard is
  • If you have contacted the emergency services
  • The size or amount of the hazard on the road or pavement
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Other information

What is a hazard?

It is an offence to obstruct the free passage of the highway. (Section 137 Highways Act 1980)

Hazards are objects which have been unlawfully placed on or which overhang the highway. These include:

  • Builders' skips
  • Scaffolding or hoardings
  • Builder's materials
  • Temporary works including traffic lights
  • Overhanging tree branches, hedges
  • Mud or debris on the road
  • Mixing concrete or mortar on the highway
  • Unauthorised vendors or traders
  • Encroachment of highway boundaries
  • Discharge of water onto the highway
  • Blocking rights of way
  • Plants and bushes
  • Illegal signs
  • Caravans and trailers (not attached to a vehicle)

If you wilfully obstruct the free passage along a highway, you are guilty of an offence. As Highway Authority we have certain powers to deal with the above types of obstruction.

Different types of offence have different lengths of notice period. You will usually be advised what timescale is likely after you have registered the complaint.

If a highway is obstructed by a vehicle the Police can issue a fixed penalty ticket, however they will prioritise such complaints in line with workload.