DfT guidance on road adoption published


The Department for Transport (DfT) has published guidance on the adoption of roads into the public highway under the 1980 Highways Act.

The Advice Note, which covers England only, covers the adoption of roads so that they become maintainable at public expense.


Is intended to set out best practice on the issue for all those who are involved in the development and purchase of homes, including planning authorities, local highway authorities, developers, people living in private streets, and people planning to purchase property

In the foreword to the document, transport minister Andrew Jones says: ‘I am keen to hear from users of the document to understand whether it is helping them and what more we may need to do to help ensure that the process of roads adoption into the highway works effectively.’

The Advice Note states that it is provided for guidance only and is not a substitute for independent legal advice. It covers:

  • Part 1 - The Operation of Section 38 Agreements (between developers and local authorities)
  • Part 2 - The Private Street Works Code (PSWC) and Part 2A the adoption of a private street after the execution of works (Section 228)
  • Part 3 - The Advance Payments Code (APC)
  • Part 4 - Road adoption using Section 37 of the 1980 Act

The document stresses that communication between parties should be at the centre of the process and that ‘a collaborative approach should be taken by all parties involved including planning and highway authorities whether they are unitary or two tier administrations’.

It states: ‘For all aspects of road adoption early discussions between all parties is required to help achieve a more seamless process’.


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