If a person without authority from us or excuse in any way wilfully obstructs the free passage along a highway, they are guilty of an offence. In such cases we have legal powers to enforce their removal.

Obstructions examples include:

  • Builders' skips
  • Scaffolding and hoardings
  • Builders materials
  • Temporary works including traffic lights
  • Overhanging tree branches, hedges
  • Mud or debris on the road
  • Mixing concrete/mortar on the highway
  • Blocking 'rights of way'
  • Plants and bushes
  • Illegal signs (those not included in the Traffic Signs Regulations)
  • Encroachments - where ownership of areas of the highway have been unlawfully assumed

If you need to use the highway for some of the purposes mentioned above, you may be able to apply for a licence from us.

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Hedge or tree obstructions

Where foliage is overgrowing the highway causing a danger or obstruction, we will ask the property owner or occupier to arrange to cut back anything either:

  • Blocking a road or footpath
  • Blocking the light from a street light
  • Blocking a visibility splay or view of a road sign
  • Hazardous foliage such as bramble

We have notices that could be sent through the post or hand delivered requesting you attend to overgrowth. All notices will be issued following a site inspection so the chances are that if your neighbours have overgrowth affecting the road or path, they will have received a letter as well.

Please don’t panic if you have received a notice from us, they can be a little officious but they have to explain all of the responsibilities of the council and property owners/occupiers.

If you are attending to the overgrowth yourself, please work safely. You may need road signs, cones or barriers if you are working on the highway, if in any doubt please contact a professional.

Hedge cutting
A guide to roadside hedge and tree management.