The following Local Government Q&A produced in partnership with Alastair Frew of Lodders Solicitors provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
There is no general duty for public authorities to consult those affected by their decisions; but a duty to consult may be imposed by statute (eg see further below under ‘Road Closures’), or may arise in public law either because of the duty to act fairly, or as a result of a legitimate expectation eg created by an express promise to consult. See Practice Note: Consultation: requirement and process.
The highway authority has a duty to maintain all adopted highways in its region, whether that be roads, footpaths or bridleways.
At common law it is a nuisance to interfere with the surface of a highway and it used to be an offence for utility companies to lay their underground pipes and cables underneath the highway.
The New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 expressly permits the highway authority and statutory undertakers to dig up the highway, along with any third party which holds a specific street works licence.
In the case of day to day repairs, the highway authority must carry out these repairs as soon as is reasonable and does not need to give notice. See Crawley v Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council as discussed in News Analysis: Highway maintenance—exploring
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