Who is responsible for keeping the roads hazard-free?

Local highway authorities – normally county, district or unitary councils – have a duty to keep public highways in good repair, and to repair any hazards or defects when they occur.

There are complications, however, as not all roads are publicly maintained, and some sections of road (such as railway level crossings) may be maintained by other bodies.

Other complications arise on major roads, such as trunk roads (maintained by the Highways Agency and their various private contractors), motorways, and Red Routes in London (maintained by Transport for London).

Members of the public can report defects and hazards to the highway authority, who will then make the necessary repairs. Each authority has a different timescale according to the danger a particular hazard poses, so it is important to be accurate when reporting road defects.

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