Road adoption and private roads

The Highways Act 1980 ("the Act") contains various provisions whereby roads can be adopted by the highway authority as highways maintainable at public expense. New roads that have been constructed in accordance with the County Council's guidelines and are of sufficient public utility may be adopted by way of an agreement between the developer and the County Council under section 38 of the Act.

New roads

Please contact Transport Development Planning if adopting a newly built road. Please see Road Adoptions under S38 Highways Act 1980 for more information and guidance pack for developers.

Existing roads

Please note: we do not normally adopt existing roads (roads that are currently privately owned).

The Highways Information Team handle enquiries about adoption of existing roads; however, as the authority responsible for adopting roads, we recommended that applicants seek independent advice on meeting the standards required.

To bring an existing private road up to an adoptable standard, residents should review The Design Manual for Streets. This document sets the standards needed for road adoption.

If residents take the decision to pay the full costs of bringing a private existing road up to an adoptable standard, the Highways Information Team will assist with the adoption process.

Finding out if a road has been adopted or is a private roads

To find out whether a road has been adopted by the highway authority, please look at the Surrey Interactive Map and when loaded select Roads and Transport: Publicly maintained roads from layers list. Any roads marked by a coloured line (the colours reflect the road classification, for example 'A' roads are marked with a red line) have been adopted whilst roads shown as white are unadopted/private roads.

Problems on private and unadopted roads

Private roads are not maintained by Surrey County Council and therefore we cannot progress your request.

Some private roads are managed by residents' associations. Please contact your local district or borough council who may be able to provide information about residents' associations in your area.

Adoption agreement status

Please note: this service is primarily used by search companies and solicitors.

This service provides information about whether a road adoption agreement exists for a new road and if so, what stage this is at in the adoption process.

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