Unadopted streets

Access rights on unadopted streets

An unadopted street may be a highway over which all people have a right to pass and repass (a public highway which is privately maintained), or a private street over which some people have a private right of access either by right of ownership, agreement, grant or long usage.

Whilst a frontager to a highway has a right of access to a highway, an owner of land adjacent to a private road does not have an automatic right of access to it.

Residents often think that as they both own and pay for the upkeep of their unadopted street they have a right to obstruct it as they choose, eg by putting a gate across the street. However, it is just as much an offence to obstruct an unadopted highway as any other highway.

There is no automatic right to park on any road, whether or not it is a highway.

On adopted highways, the highway authority and the police generally tolerate parking.
On unadopted highways, waiting incidental to the use of the highway may be permitted, but long-term parking or "vehicle storage" may be a "trespass" against the owner of the road.