Adopted roads

Adopted roads in East Sussex

What is an adopted road?

East Sussex County Council maintain adopted roads.

We regularly inspect and maintained all adopted roads. As well as repairs to the surface, other works may include:

  • grass cutting, tree pruning, and weed killing
  • drain cleaning
  • repainting road markings.

Other highways, such as Public Rights of Way (PROW) are open to the public. These are not inspected or maintained to the same level.

All adopted roads are public unless restricted by the highway authority.

What is a private road?

Private roads have not been adopted by us. It is up to the owner to maintain them. This may be the residents of a road or a third party, usually a developer.

Owners can restrict access to private roads.

Private streets

Private streets, or unadopted public highways, are different to private roads. They are roads which we do not maintain, but may be used by the public.

How does a road become adopted?

If a road is built by us, adoption is usually straightforward. If a road is built by a third party, eg the builder of a residential, commercial or industrial development, a legal agreement is made with us to make sure that the new highway is adopted into the overall network.

When we are asked to adopt a road, we ensure that:

  • the third party proposing adoption has ownership rights
  • it is suitably built and meets design standards, eg road layout and alignment
  • it is in good repair with no defects
  • the drains and streetlights meet the necessary standards.

We may also need a financial contribution for any future maintenance.

Find out more about the process for road adoptions.

Further information

To find out more about road adoption, contact:

Highway Land Information Team: