Highways Act 1980

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The Highways Act 1980 (1980 c.66) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom dealing with the management and operation of the road network in England and Wales. It consolidated with amendments several earlier pieces of legislation. Many amendments relate only to changes of highway authority, to include new unitary councils and National Parks. By virtue of the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 and the Environment Act 1995, most references to local authority are taken to also include Welsh councils and National Park authorities. By virtue of the National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999 most references to 'the Minister' are taken to include the National Assembly for Wales. The Act is split into 14 parts covering 345 sections, it also includes 25 schedules.

Part 1: Highway Authorities & Agreements Between Authorities[edit]

Part 1 includes sections 1 to 9 of the Act. The legislation contained in these sections covers:

  • Highway Authorities
  • Agreements between authorities

Part 2: Trunk Roads, Classified Roads, Metropolitan Roads, Special Roads[edit]

Part 2 includes sections 10 to 23 of the Act. The legislation contained in these sections covers:

  • Trunk roads
  • Classified roads
  • Metropolitan roads
  • Special Roads

Part 3: Creation of Highways[edit]

Part 3 includes sections 24 to 35 of the Act. The legislation contained in these sections covers:

  • Creation of new highways
  • Creation of new footpaths and bridleways
  • Dedication of highways

Part 4: Maintenance of Highways[edit]

Part 4 includes sections 36 to 61 of the Act. The legislation contained in these sections covers:

  • Highways maintainable at public expense & their maintenance
  • Maintenance of privately maintainable highways
  • Powers covering enforcement of liabilities and recovery of costs
  • Defence in respect of specific matters in legal action against a highway authority for damages for non-repair of highway

Part 5: Improvement of Highways[edit]

Part 5 includes sections 62 to 105 of the Act. The legislation contained in these sections covers:

  • Various powers to improve highways including - but not limited to:
    • Widening of highways
    • Installation of Guard rails
    • Construction, reconstruction and improvement of bridges and the like

Part 6: Navigable Waters & Watercourses[edit]

Part 6 includes sections 106 to 111 of the Act. The legislation contained in these sections covers:

  • Construction of bridges over and tunnels under navigable waters
  • Diversions of watercourses

Part 7: Provision of Special Facilities[edit]

Part 7 includes sections 112 to 115 of the Act. The legislation contained in these sections covers:

  • Provision of picnic sites.
  • Provision of public conveniences.
  • Provision of areas for parking heavy goods vehicles.

Part 8: Stopping up of Highways[edit]

Part 8 includes sections 116 to 129 of the Act. The legislation contained in these sections covers:

  • Stopping up and diversion of highways
  • Stopping up means of access to highways

Part 9: Lawful and Unlawful Interference with Highways[edit]

Part 9 includes sections 130 to 185 of the Act. The legislation contained in these sections covers:

  • Protection of public rights
  • Damage to highways
  • Obstruction of highways
  • Danger or annoyance to highway users
  • Precautions to be taken in doing certain works
  • Request the highway authority to construct a vehicle crossing over a footway or verge in the highway

Part 10: New Streets[edit]

Part 10 includes sections 186 to 202 of the Act. The legislation contained in these sections covers:

  • New street byelaws
  • Requirements and prohibitions as to new streets
  • Enforcement of byelaws

Part 11: Making up of Private Streets[edit]

Part 11 includes sections 203 to 237 of the Act. The legislation contained in these sections covers:

  • The private street works code
  • The advance payments code
  • General powers relating to private streets

Part 12: Acquisition, Vesting and Transfer of Land[edit]

Part 12 includes sections 238 to 271 of the Act. The legislation contained in these sections covers:

  • Acquisition of land for highway works
  • Compensation relating to compulsory acquisition of land
  • Vesting of land
  • Transfer of property and liability when the status of a highway changes

Part 13: Financial Provisions[edit]

Part 13 includes sections 272 to 281 of the Act. The legislation contained in these sections covers:

  • Various rules on financial transactions relating to highways

Part 14: Miscellaneous and Supplementary Powers[edit]

Part 14 includes sections 282 to 345 of the Act. The legislation contained in these sections covers:

  • Various supplementary powers including - but not limited to:
Inquiries
Disputes over compensation
Prosecutions and appeals
Regulations, schemes and orders

Schedules[edit]

The Act contains 25 schedules.

Sections of note[edit]

Section 38 Agreement[edit]

Under Section 38 of the Act, the highway authority may enter into an agreement with a developer of land on either side or both sides of a private street. The Authority can agree to adopt the street as a highway maintainable at public expense when all the street works have been carried out to their satisfaction, and the developer agrees to carry them out within a stated time. It is customary for the developer to enter into a bond for his performance with a bank or building society.

Section 38 Agreements have been criticised[citation needed] because Highways Authorities are usually consultees during the planning process, but are essentially given a second bite of the cherry when a developer wishes to get his road adopted. Often Highways Authorities will request additional requirements to highways in order for them to be adopted in addition to those originally asked for during the planning consultation process.

Section 278 Agreement[edit]

A Section 278 Agreement allows private developers to either fund or complete works to public highways outside the development site itself, such as traffic calming and capacity improvements.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]