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Road, pavement, structure and vegetation maintenance

Road and pavement, bridges, verges, tree and vegetation maintenance information

What is a public highway? 

A public highway includes any route over which the public has right of way, including:

  • verges
  • pavements
  • roads and bridleways
  • public footpaths

Private and unadopted roads

A private or unadopted road is any route that is not looked after by the council. It can be a track leading to a farm, a residential road or a route built by a third party.

Maintenance of private roads is usually the responsibility of the owner(s). This may be:

  • the residents of a road who each own the part in front of their house
  • a third party - usually a developer

Council maintainable routes

We look after most publicly maintainable roads in Dorset as the highway authority. The exception is Trunk roads.

The  Highways Act 1980 (opens in a new window) sets out what constitutes a highway maintainable at public expense. It also describes how routes can be added to the network by being adopted by the highway authority.

Road maintenance

Read more about Road maintenance
How Dorset Highways maintains its roads and pavements.

Bridges and structures

Read more about Bridges and structures
Maintenance of bridges and other structures in Dorset


Read more about Vegetation
Maintenance of verges, trees and hedges in Dorset.

Drains and covers

Read more about Drains and covers
Maintenance of drains, drainage systems and manhole covers in Dorset

Report and track road issues and enquiries

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