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Highway – what is a road in the UK?

S.328 of the Highways Act 1980 says under the section ”Meaning of “Highway”  that a “highway” means the whole or a part of a highway other than a ferry or waterway and includes bridges and tunnels which the highway passes over/ through. Which actually doesn’t really answer the question!

This domain would be ideal for the DVLA or any local council in the UK.

However, it is the common law definition that says ‘A highway is a way over which there exists a public right of passage, that is to say, a right for all Her Majesty’s subjects at all seasons of the year freely and at their will to pass and repass without let or hindrance. ‘ (Halsbury’s Laws 21[1]).

A highway can be created by two methods – statute and common law doctrine and acceptance. There is a statutory presumption of dedication after 20 years of uninterrupted use by the public under section 31(1) of the Highways Act 1980. However, dedication to common law does not require 20 years (or indeed any period) of uninterrupted use. This is backed up by case law.

A highway can be a road or a footpath. It does not have to be a drivable route.

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Highway – what is a highway in the UK? | Planning Geek

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