Q&As

If a person owns land which abuts a public highway are there any statutory or other provisions which deal with that landowners right to gain access onto the highway?

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Published on LexisPSL on 20/11/2017

The following Local Government Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If a person owns land which abuts a public highway are there any statutory or other provisions which deal with that landowners right to gain access onto the highway?

If a person owns land which abuts a public highway are there any statutory or other provisions which deal with that landowners right to gain access onto the highway?

At common law, the owner of land which adjoins a highway has a right of access from his land onto the highway. This right enables an access from any point on the landowner’s land which abuts the highway (Marshall v Blackpool Corporation).

This is a private right, entirely separate from the public right to use the highway (Lyon v Fishmongers), however, the use of this private right is one which must be exercised reasonably so as not to interfere with the reasonable exercise by the public of their rights of way (Rowley v Tottenham Urban DC).

There are, however, a number of limitations to this right introduced by statute.

Driving on footways and verges may be a criminal offence under section 72 of the Highways Act 1835, section 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, and some other statutory provisions. The reasonable use of the highway to access land may provide a defence to criminal proceedings (St Mary Newington Vestry v Jacobs).

The local highways authority also have a number of powers to carry out

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