unadopted road verge

I live on an unadopted rural lane in Suffolk which leads to a new housing development. A Sansbury shopper in a Shogun ripped her tyres on the granite boulders outside my house. When the 'Man from the Council' came round to ask me to remove the boulders from my grass verge, I waited until he was in full flight before I mentioned that the lane was unadopted. He had not known this, but was clearly unaware of the rights and wrongs of the situation. Before I delve into it, does anyone have any shortcuts I can take to get the information I need to pre-empt any problems?
Cheers! Gilbert
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change from "how do I avoid paying a parking/speeding ticket?"
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-- Bill

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dolt wrote:

Well, I have given up. On my presumably adopted rural lane in Suffolk, any place that doesn't have a bank, hedge or ditch becomes a passing place. If its outside your house, it becomes a parking place for delivery drivers.
We scooped out the corrugated mud and slapped in 6 inches of crushed limestone. Now soil and dead leaves are covering it, and eventually it will become a bit of green road no doubt :-)

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The MftC admitted the grass verge was yours then? Did you catch why he thought you had to remove these boulders that someone had left there?
He was probably trying to claim a requirement under the Highways Act 1980, which also has some provisions for footpaths, bridlewys and roads not publicly maintained. Not online at hmso.gov.uk, but there are some sections in the Green Lanes Association site at: http://www.glass-uk.org/pub-library/acts/ha80.html
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that IF the road is unadopted then... he isn't sure!
I telephoned the Council in 2001 and was assured the lane was unadopted. I assume (uh-oh) the verge(garden?) is mine, and so my responsibility, but from a brief browse I get the impression that different councils respond to this question in different ways. Suffolk has no mention of them online and seemed very reluctant to give out info.

Such deviousness never occurred to me (until now) but while he still thought it was Council property he advised me that I would be liable if a claim were made against me (for presumably knackering someone's vehicle?)

Thanks for that
Gilbert
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Who owns the lane, and who has a right of access down it, and for what sort of defined traffic? Does the driver of the Shogun (or anyone else) have a right of access down that lane for the purpose of using it as a through road? Might be a useful to know if the driver of the Shogun was trespassing on private land or not.
--
Tony Williams.

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housing development, it also gives tractor access to farmland - so 'through' traffic all perfectly legit. The middle (where I am) section of the lane is unadopted, and I would guess that the 'new' road in the housing development is also unadopted. The only problem I used to have was when people drove up onto my soft grass bank to pass an oncoming vehicle, instead of pulling in at various places available either side of my section. The small (250mm) boulders worked a treat, and I had no complaints for years. But the Shogun driver is a 'local boy done good' millionaire's wife - and she probably thinks 'she' owns the lane - and only asked the Council to hassle me when her husband moaned about the cost of her new tyres (if I've read it right). :O) I'm waiting for the Council to get back to me...
Gilbert
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"dolto" wrote | "Tony Williams" wrote | > Who owns the lane, and who has a right of access down | > it, and for what sort of defined traffic? | The lane runs from the B road in the village and feeds a recent (10yrs) | housing development, it also gives tractor access to farmland - so | 'through' traffic all perfectly legit.
Not necessarily. There may be access for farm vehicles to adjacent farmland but not general access to the public or to owners of new dwellings.
| The only problem I used to have was when people drove up onto my | soft grass bank to pass an oncoming vehicle, instead of pulling in | at various places available either side of my section. The small | (250mm) boulders worked a treat, and I had no complaints for years.
You need to find out who *owns* the land which forms the road (including what you describe as /your/ soft grass bank) and what rights of access have been granted to others. This should all have been explained to you by your solicitor when you purchased the property and when the new housing was built, and it would probably be best to speak to him first, as it will involve checking your deeds and local land registry.
If you own or jointly own the unadopted road or any part of it, it may be very prudent to get a public liability insurance policy.
Owain
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<snipped>

property - it was a casual remark by a neighbour which I followed up with a call to the Council and they confirmed the lane's unadopted status. I'll look into it.
Cheers! Gilbert
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I'm amazed. No conveyance I've been through have neglected to determine the adopted status of nearby roads.
Christian.
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I've just read through my copy of the original search - which states that the road is publicly maintained! IIRC, six months after I moved in my neighbour suggested that the road was unadopted, and the local council confirmed it. Obviously I need to clarify the situation. Cheers! Gilbert
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er, sorry about the different aliases... bloody teenagers!
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In your shoes I'd start by sueing my solicitor. This is exactly the kind of stuff they're supposed to sort out for you.
Will
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On Wed, 17 Dec 2003 16:34:46 -0000, gilbert wrote:

Find a new solicitor this should have been highlighted. You might find you have no right of access to your property, not very likely but...
Of course the council may have fupped up your orginal query about the lane and it *is* adopted. Either way you need to find out it's true status, who owns it, what rights you have to use it and what rights others have to use it. And who is potentially liable should some one damage their tyres on it. B-)
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This may well be included in house insurance IIRC
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"Colin Wilson" wrote | > If you own or jointly own the unadopted road or any part of it, | > it may be very prudent to get a public liability insurance policy. | This may well be included in house insurance IIRC
House insurance usually has a public liability element but this almost certainly does not apply outside the boundary of the actual insured dwelling.
Unless the policy specifically includes PL for an adjacent unadopted road, in the event of a claim the insurers will respond 'We offered insurance for an ordinary house and private garden, not for an area routinely used by the public. You failed to disclose this material fact to us on the proposal and your insurance is therefore void".
For the same reason anyone with a public footpath or right of way through their garden should inform their insurer.
If the OP owns or jointly owns the unadopted road or any part of it he is responsible for the safety of the public using that road.
Owain
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What about the damage to the boulders? Is the shogun 'driver' going to pay for the damage she caused to them for her careless driving? L
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The boulder that caused a 9in gash in her almost new tyre is, I'm pleased to report, still wholly intact.
My kind of boulder. :O)
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Check with the land registry and see if there is a registered owner for the verge/ lane.
Even if there is by the way, it doesn't mean you are not the owner. There are still the laws of adverse possession, and if you have held the land for over 12 years, it effectively yours! This is especially true of the verge as opposed to the lane. If you are the owner its possible she was trespassing by using the lane at all. Easements etc. may not exist if the lane and the properties in it ( not the new houses) are quite old ( pre town and country planning act 1951) but there are rules which allow such easement by convention , even if not written. Similar rules apply to unregistered and unadopted lanes concerning maintenance and access rights.
Ask the land registry, they usually know more than the council about the rules.
If the lane is unadopted I believe ( from living in such a lane myself - although mine is not a through road to nowhere other than into the Tamar river if someone wants to drive up to it and drown in there!) that the law states that you are responsible for the upkeep of that road and own that road within the boundary lines of your property and extending out to the centre of the road/lane. The other half belongs to any person bordering the side of the lane.
There may in fact be no right of way through for cars. *my* lane is a public footpath - and that means people on foot only are able to walk up it. No cars except for access to the two properties ( mine and my nearest neighbour up the lane)
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