About Highways private streets and new developments intro

Overview of highway and private street maintenance, trunk road responsibilities, and adoption processes for new roads in the area.

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Northumberland County Council, Section 36(6) of the Highways Act 1980 List of Highways Maintainable at Public Expense (List of Streets)

The map link below provides information on the publicly maintainable highway network in Northumberland including.  A, B, C and U category roads, and public rights of way, footpaths and cycle tracks for which the authority is responsible for maintaining. 

Click here to see a digital map

Unadopted roads

Roads which are not adopted may be: 

  • private streets 
  • owned by one or more individuals 
  • unpaved 
  • without kerbs 
  • footways 
  • surface water sewers 
  • gullies 
  • lighting 

A private street is not maintained by the highway authority but may be maintained by the owners and/or those with a private right of access to the street.   

Occasionally, a private street may have a sign which clearly states ‘private’ or ‘unadopted,’ although this alone is not normally proof of status. 

Trunk roads

Trunk roads in Northumberland (the A1, A69 and A19) are not maintained by Northumberland County Council. These roads are the responsibility of the National Highways and their agents.   

Questions about trunk roads the A1, A19 and A69 and information relating to them should be directed to:  National Highways: 

Email: info@nationalhighways.co.uk
Phone: 0300 123 5000 
Visit the National Highways website. 

New development

New roads constructed according to the council's guidelines usually become adopted through an agreement between the developer and the council under section 38 of the Highways Act 1980. However, it is not compulsory to enter into an agreement.   

Where an agreement exists, and should the developer go into receivership, the existing road system can be completed and formally adopted. Normally, roads remain with the developer for a period of one year after completion (the ‘maintenance period’) and, if no major defects are found after that, formal adoption takes place. 


If you have any questions about any of the above highway issues, please contact: 

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