An obstruction on a road or street

It is an offence to obstruct the free passage of the highway. The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) is responsible for making sure the public road network in Northern Ireland is free from obstructions as far as reasonably practicable.

Reporting an obstruction 

Obstructions are objects which have been unlawfully placed on a road/ street or which overhang it. 

You can report an obstruction at this link:

Tracking the progress of a fault

You are able to check the progress of a fault you have reported using the link below:

Who is responsible for removing an obstruction?

If a person without lawful authority or excuse in any way wilfully obstructs the free passage of cars/ pedestrians along a highway, that person is guilty of an offence. In such cases DfI has legal powers and may enforce removal.

Placing of builders skips, erection of scaffolding and roadworks can also be considered obstructions, however these can be carried out quite legally if certain conditions are met.

Unauthorised vendors/ traders on the public highway are dealt with by the local council.

Water flowing onto the public road

Allowing water to flow from your property onto the public road is not only an offence but can cause a significant danger to road users, particularly during frosty conditions.

Water flowing onto a ‘salted’ road represents a particular danger, as the running water will simply wash the salt from the road surface - allowing it to freeze.

Landowners should take whatever steps are necessary to prevent water flowing onto nearby roads.

In certain circumstances, particularly in the interests of road safety, DfI may serve a notice on the owner or occupier of adjoining land requiring them to remedy the situation.

It may also carry out whatever operations are necessary to restore the road condition themselves and may subsequently seek to recover costs from the offender if possible.

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