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What is an adopted Road?

Adopted roads are maintained at public expense, usually by the highway authority. All adopted roads are regularly inspected and maintained. As well as repairs to the surface, other works include: grass cutting, tree pruning and weed killing, drain cleaning and repainting road markings.

To find out if a road is adopted, please visit East Sussex County Council's website.

What is a private road?

Private roads have not been adopted by us. Maintenance is the responsibility of the owner. This may be the residents of a road who each own the part in front of their house, or a third party, usually a developer.

What is a private street?

Private streets are not maintained by us but may be used by the public & have highway rights over them. They are known as unadopted highways.

How does a road become adopted?

If the road built by East Sussex County Council, adoption is usually straightforward.

If it is built by a 3rd party, for example,  the builder of a residential, commercial or industrial development, a legal agreement is made with East Sussex County Council to make sure that the new highway is adopted into the overall network.

When East Sussex County Council are asked to adopt a road, they have to make sure that:

  • The third party proposing adoption has ownership rights
  • It is suitably built and meets design standards, e.g. road layout and alignment
  • It is in good repair with no defects
  • The drains and streetlights meet the necessary standards
  • A financial contribution for any future maintenance may also be necessary


How do I find out if a road will become adopted?

To find out if a road will be adopted, please contact East Sussex County Council's Highway Land Information team:
Telephone: 01273 482316

Development and Road Adoptions report »

Transport development control

As the county highway authority, East Sussex County Council offer advice to local planning authorities on applications that may affect roads or transport. 

Contact details

Transport Development Control

Phone: 01273 482254

Development and Road Adoptions report »

Highway Land Information

The Highway Land Information Team (HLIT) provide information about the public highway including:

  • Information regarding Highway boundary issues

  • CON29 Highway questions

  • Information regarding proposed new roads or alterations to existing roads

  • Information regarding road adoptions

  • Information regarding private developments that may affect the public highway

  • Provision of plans to show highway extent

For more information please visit East Sussex County Council's website.

Contact details​

Highway Land Information Team
County Hall, 
St Anne’s Crescent, 
East Sussex BN7 1UE

Tel: 01273 482316


Development and Road Adoptions report »

This depends on the size of the crossing, whether utilities’ services or street furniture is affected and which contractor you use. You will need to obtain quotations and we advise that you get at least three, before choosing a contractor for these works.

You will be responsible for paying for the works directly to the contractor. East Sussex County Council charges a fee for providing and overseeing the licence process which is currently £275.

To apply for a vehicle crossover, please download the form below, complete and return to us at or by post to East Sussex Highways, The Broyle, Ringmer, East Sussex, BN8 5NP.

Application form -


Development and Road Adoptions report »

To find out when a road will be adopted, please contact East Sussex County Council's Highway Land Information team:
Telephone: 01273 482316

Development and Road Adoptions report »