Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire – county borders everywhere! How is highway maintenance dealt with when roads nip back and forth?

Please see below the advice given by a Suffolk highways officer and how it affects us all. Sounds sensible in theory but does the practice match that? I’m not sure when we look at Coupals Road on the way to the golf club!!!!

“Where either a carriageway, footway or footpath (or indeed, any other area classed as maintainable highway land) crosses a county border, our Highways Assessment Officers inspect to the border as they have access to accurate mapping that gives them exact GPS coordinates of that boundary line.

With Customer Reported issues and particularly using our reporting tool this allows reports to be logged a certain distance into the neighbouring county. This is because those reporting these defects are not likely to know the exact line of the boundary and to ensure that no defects fall through the gaps and get missed – Cambridgeshire, Essex and Norfolk Highways Teams have a similar process. There are no areas of ‘no-mans land’ as these borders are very well identified on our systems.

Our Assessment Officer will always visit these reports and determine whether they fall under Suffolk Highway’s responsibility or the neighbouring county. If ours, they will be ordered for repair as appropriate. Those under the neighbouring county’s responsibility are referred to them. The Customer Reports themselves are all closed down advising the customer who is responsible – in the case of the report referenced by xxxxxxxx, this was closed as not maintained by Suffolk Highways and this was part of the Cambridgeshire network.

If a defect lies exactly on the border line, it is a case of whichever counties inspector visits first, they will order a repair – but they will not extend beyond this.

There are a few areas where either Suffolk maintain parts of the highway into the neighbouring county and vice versa – but these are mostly where the border is crossed by a bridge or other structure, the county that owns the bridge or structure is obliged to maintain 100 yards of highway past this. Other exceptions are where sections of road cross briefly into a neighbouring county but shortly back into Suffolk – for example Haverhill bypass. These are well known and established areas of cross over.

I hope this helps explain our policy for reported issues up to and across the county borders.”

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