Reporting problems with pavements and maintenance of private streets

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) is responsible for maintaining adopted roads (including footpaths and verges). On a private street, responsibility for maintenance lies with its owners.

What DfI can do

DfI is responsible for making sure pavements are free from trip hazards and other defects as far as reasonably practical to ensure public safety.

DfI is not, however, responsible for maintaining a ‘private street’. The responsibility for private streets lies with the street owners, usually the developer or those who live on the street.

However, if a problem is thought to be a 'danger' (for example, a deep hole in the road suddenly appearing) DfI may arrange to make it safe by placing barriers or road closures around the hazard. DfI may subsequently seek to recover costs from the owner if possible.

Permanent repairs are then carried out by the owner or owners.

Reporting damaged pavements

Roads, footways or verges may become damaged due to wear and tear, vandalism or a utility company, such as a gas or telecoms company, carrying out works.

In the latter case, these companies are responsible for providing a safe route for pedestrians and other traffic to pass. They are also responsible for making sure the pavement is left in good condition after the work is completed.

You can report a fault to DfI by email, in writing, in person to the relevant office, or by telephone (for emergencies only) using the details at this link:

Getting a private street adopted by the DfI

You may be able to apply to get a private street adopted by DfI providing it is at, or is brought up to an, acceptable standard.

If you live on an existing private street and would like DfI to take on responsibility for maintenance, you can apply to have your road adopted. The Department may consider private streets/ footways for adoption where:

  • the majority of owners whose properties front onto the road or street request it
  • the roads or streets are first brought to adoption standard at the expense of the owner(s)
  • DfI is of the opinion that the street should become a public road

In considering such requests, DfI must be satisfied that inclusion of an area into the public network is in the public interest, bearing in mind the cost implications for future maintenance.

For more information on how to apply for a road to be adopted, please contact DfI Roads.

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