Extent of the Highway
What is a highway?
A highway is a way over which the public have a right to pass and repass and may or may not be publicly maintained. Normally the highway consists of carriageway footway and verge but can also be a footpath, bridleway or cycleway.
What constitutes highway land?
- Land that has been formally adopted by the Highway Authority
- Land that formed part of a public highway on 31 August 1835
- Land that has been used by the public at large as a highway for a considerable period of time normally 20 years or more without interruption or challenge (Although this is a highway it is not necessarily publicly maintained)
Road status enquiry service
The County Council has a duty to keep a list of all highways which are currently maintainable at public expense. However, the list does not record the limits of the highway, nor does it include roads which are not highways maintainable at public expense, fo rexample private roads or military roads.
Where it is necessary to establish the boundary or limit of the highway then a full status enquiry needs to be undertaken for which the County Council makes a charge. This is normally £49.50, however we may charge an hourly rate for larger enquiries - an estimate will be provided.
If formal adoption records exist as is the case with most developments since 1948 then this simplifies the task as plans and maps will form part of the documentation and provide information as to the areas of land adopted by the Highway Authority.
Where no such plans exist, then evidence of the status needs to be established by undertaking research into a variety of records. It is often complex and time consuming involving research into historic records of various types. Many documents my have to be consulted. It is unlikely that any one document will provide conclusive evidence without the support of other documents.
If you would like further information please contact us:
Highways Status Team
Economy, Transport & Environment Department
Hampshire County Council
DX 2510 Winchester