Unadopted streets

Lighting, gullies and litter on unadopted streets


Lancashire County Council, as highway authority, may install and/or maintain street lighting on any highway, including unadopted highways. The existence of street lighting on an unadopted street provides no evidence that the street has been formally adopted in the past, or that the highway authority has become responsible for maintenance of the street merely because it has maintained the street lighting system.

Currently, Lancashire County Council will not normally install new street lighting systems on unadopted streets, though there may be circumstances in which Pendle Community Safety Partnership may be able to fund such improvements.

However, in recognition of the obvious safety concerns caused by missing grates, both Colne and District Committee and Nelson Committee allocated funds from their capital programme budgets to help replace missing or stolen grates on unadopted streets in their respective areas. Most of the funds have now been spent.


The gullies that drain the surface water of an unadopted street, together with any gully connection pipes, are the responsibility of the frontagers to that street.

Lancashire County Council will not replace missing gully grates on unadopted streets. The responsibility for replacing them rests with the frontagers.


The Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a duty on local authorities and statutory undertakers to keep their relevant land, including roads, clear of litter and refuse.

However, this duty does not apply to unadopted streets as they are not "relevant land" as specified under section 86 of the Act. The clearance of litter on these streets is therefore the responsibility of the frontagers to that street.