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Roads, road care and cycle lanes


Road adoption

  • An adopted road is a road that is maintained at public expense by the Highway Authority
  • If you live in a road that is not currently adopted and want to know whether and when the road is likely to be adopted, or if you are a developer proposing to construct a new road and you wish to find out more about the processes required to secure its adoption, please contact us at HighwaysDevelopment@wiltshire.gov.uk

Adopted roads disclaimer

The information contained on this website is based on records compiled by the council and is correct to the best of our knowledge. It does not however, constitute a definitive statement as to the status of any particular highway and as such the Council does not accept responsibility and shall not be liable for any loss, damage or inconvenience (whether direct or indirect) caused by acting or refraining to act in reliance on material contained in this site. Such liability is excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Users should satisfy themselves that any material they access on this site is suitable for their purposes. To ensure accuracy as to the status of a road, and to check the extent which is maintained at public expense, the council recommends contacting the Highway Records section for either a personal search or property and land-based transaction search. Public Rights of Way are not included within the lists - please contact Highway Records for details relating to these. Finally, the council does not endorse nor accept responsibility or liability for any material maintained by third parties or linked pages.

If you accept this disclaimer, you may view the adopted roads list document found at the bottom of this page.


We are responsible for the maintenance of existing traffic signal equipment including signal controlled junctions and pedestrian crossings as well as the assessment, design and implementation of new signal installations.

We have a maintenance contract with Telent Ltd. Under the terms of the contract Telent are required to attend a defective traffic signal within two hours for an emergency call, four hours for urgent repairs or twenty four hours for non-urgent repairs, between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Using traffic lights to control the flow of traffic can help reduce congestion, improve road safety and enable specific transport strategies to be introduced. 

We are responsible for:

  • 69 Junction or Shuttle installations
  • 51 Pelican crossings
  • 52 Puffin crossings
  • 18 Toucan crossings

We decide if signals need to be placed at junctions based on the following factors:

  • injury collision record
  • speed and volume of main road traffic
  • side road volume
  • number of pedestrians and cyclist crossing the main road
  • feasibility of alternative types and layout for the junction
  • engineering feasibility and cost

In addition to the installation costs there are ongoing maintenance costs.

All requests for new traffic signals installations should be made in writing


The frequency adopted roads are inspected is shown below:

Type of Inspection
A, B and some C and unclassified roads
Most C roads and some unclassified roads
3 monthly
Some C roads and unclassified roads
6 monthly
Footway in main shopping area
Footway in busy urban area
3 monthly
Other urban areas and rural areas
Same as adjoining carriageway
Cycleway forming part of carriageway
Same as carriageway
Cycleway remote from carriageway
6 monthly

Guidance on road classification from the Department of Transport

  • A roads – major roads intended to provide large-scale transport links within or between areas.
  • B roads – roads intended to connect different areas, and to feed traffic between A roads and smaller roads on the network.
  • Classified unnumbered (known unofficially as C roads)– smaller roads intended to connect together unclassified roads with A and B roads, and often linking a housing estate or a village to the rest of the network.
  • Unclassified – local roads intended for local traffic.


Defects are treated based on their ugency, and serious highways defects are usually attended to within 24 hours.

Structural surveys

Structural surveys help form our long-term maintenance programme that is designed to extend and improve the useful life of roads and footpaths.

Play area inspections

All council play areas are inspected regularly and items are removed when they have reached the end of their serviceable life.


It is our duty as highway authority to protect the rights of the public to use and enjoy the highway that we are responsible for maintaining. Sometimes we have to use our powers of enforcement to achieve this, such as making sure that:

  • there are no illegal obstructions or encroachments onto the road
  • the road is not dug up without our permission, so preventing damage to the roads
  • anything legally placed on the road, such as skips or scaffolding, is done so safely and with our permission; or
  • no one deposits anything on a road that could be a danger to road users

We try to manage enforcement as fairly as possible and will only use our full powers after all other methods have failed.


Permission is required from us before excavating in the public highway. Only accredited street works contractors are permitted to excavate in the highway.

Under the Highways Act 1980, a person may make a temporary excavation within a street that is maintainable at public expense, but the permission of the Council is still required.

Under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, the authority may grant a licence permitting a person to place or maintain apparatus in the street such as electricity cables or water mains. A Street Works Licence authorises the licensee to carry out the works permitted by the licence.

If you find any issues with the above services please report a problem.

  • The new policy on brown and white tourism signs for Wiltshire has been published
  • This has been produced by VisitWiltshire in conjunction with the Highways Department of Wiltshire council
  • For all initial enquiries please contact the VisitWiltshire Tourism Partnership on 0845 602 7323 or by email info@visitwiltshire.co.uk
  • For further information or to apply for the new (brown) tourism signs, please refer to the downloads section below

  • While it is understandable that there is sometimes a need for bereaved relatives to visit the scene of an accident as part of the grieving process, there are serious road safety concerns over this practice
  • The locations of many road deaths, especially in rural locations, tend to be at places where it is not safe to stop and/or walk on the carriageway
  • Floral tributes are usually allowed to remain for a period of not less than 14 days but generally not more than 30 days
  • The Highway Authority will arrange for collection and disposal within this period, with the bereaved being given the option of receiving the non-floral tributes which may be placed along with flowers
  • Permanent memorials are not permitted within the highway because of road safety concerns
  • In order to place banners and other decorations over a road or pavement you need to have the permission of the highway authority. 
  • An application form and the relevant conditions are available in the downloads section below.

Road care

  • Please refer to the Highway Inspection Manual document found at the bottom of this page for information on the Council's response to defects
  • Defects not covered in the manual are monitored
  • Due to prioritisation of work, some repairs can take over twelve months
  • The council prioritises the response to road gully emptying to mitigate flooding issues
  • The council responds to reports made through the MyWiltshire System where gullies are assessed to cause house flooding or a road safety issue
  • The council endeavours to review reports within one working week. Gullies deemed not to cause a house flooding or road safety issue will be left to when resources are available.  There can be a long delay to address blocked gullies found to present a low risk, as high risk gullies will always recieve priority
  • The council looks for land owners to maintain their land responsible. Please refer to the Boundary Problems website for information on ditch ownership
  • For information regarding public foul sewer drainage please refer to your local water board
  • Missing or damaged signs are replaced or repaired as necessary and we clean signs when needed.
  • We carry a stock of the common signs (chevron boards, warning and speed), but unique signs have to be specially manufactured and cannot be replaced as quickly
  • Temporary signage directing members of the public to free events is permitted on the highway.
  • Signs will be erected by recognised companies such as the AA/RAC or similar and any company wishing to erect temporary signage on the highway must apply and comply with highway authority conditions.
  • White lines, road studs and other road markings get worn or damaged, and need to be renewed periodically so this opportunity is used to review the markings to make sure all current standards are met
  • Those sites where there is an injury, accident or other identified problem are generally treated as a priority, and all other sites are dealt with as resources permit
  • Road marking replacement is weather-dependent, and so on resurfaced roads it is not always possible to replace markings immediately
  • We are responsible for the maintenance of almost all of the surfaced pavements within the County
  • Defects on the pavements will be treated in the same way as defects on the road, however these may need a quicker response, especially in areas of high pedestrian activity
  • Pavements throughout the county are also subject to safety inspections

Any item placed on the road or pavement can be a hazard for cars and pedestrians, especially the partially sighted and the disabled.

It is our responsibility to keep public roads and footpaths clear and safe for the public to use and we will take steps to remove unauthorised obstructions and encroachments.

Types of obstructions include:

  • Advertising signs
  • Skip, scaffolds or building materials (without approval)
  • Unauthorised signs or advertising
  • Unauthorised trading booths
  • Overhanging branches, bushes, hedges or plants
  • Some mud and dirt on the road may part of rural living but it is an offence to allow soil from land next to roads to fall, be washed, or carried onto the road, this is the same for building development sites
  • We contact the farmer or developer first and ask for the mud to be removed. If it is not removed within a reasonable time we may arrange for the mud to be cleared and charge the person responsible.
  • The Police may prosecute for failure to remove

The council operates an emergency call out service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and incidents are usually attended to within two hours of receiving the request. We work alongside the emergency services to keep the road network open and running smoothly.


Cycle lanes

  • These are marked with a continuous white line and are supported by a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), which prohibits vehicles from driving or parking in the lane
  • Mandatory lanes must be discontinued at side road junctions but the use of a short length advisory lane may preserve continuity
  • These are marked with a broken white line and do not require a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO)
  • They can be continued across side road junctions
  • Both advisory and mandatory cycle lanes can be coloured to emphasise their presence
  • Cycle lanes are generally between 1.0m and 2.0m in width
  • An additional 500mm “buffer” zone is recommended where a cycle lane passes alongside designated parking spaces.
  • These are becoming more widely used as a cycle priority measure
  • They are mandatory cycle lanes which allow cyclists to travel against the prevailing flow of traffic in one-way streets, within the designated lane
  • In some circumstances it may be considered unsafe or inappropriate to designate areas of carriageway as cycle lane
  • Where pedestrian flows are relatively low it may be appropriate to convert footways to shared use facilities
  • It is recommended that footways are at least 3 metres wide if a cycle path is to be considered but, in practice they may be accommodated on narrower footways when flows and site characteristics permit
  • Cycle paths may be one or two-way
  • Cyclists and pedestrians may be segregated by a white line or some other feature or may share the full width of the footway
  • In either case complimentary advisory signing is normally provided

These are traffic free, off-highway cycle routes normally shared with pedestrians.


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Last updated: 1 April 2020 | Last reviewed: 1 April 2020