What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby smileyman » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:46 pm

Hi we own a piece of land beside our house that 5 plots (2 houses using it normally)including ours have access over. Our neighbour has put in and ggot planning permission to demolish and build 2 new 4 bed houses. What surprises me is that the access is a tad under 5 meters wide at the road end and has no external pedestrian splays. Worse our 7ft privit hedge blocks the view from pedestrians along the path on one side from emerging vehicles. You would expect the planning dept to refuse or make splays conditional. No Sir they say nevermind you can have internal 1,.5 splays instead and tarmac 5 meters wide for 6 meters into the access. The remainder of the access is 3.7 meters which is the min width for emergency vehicles. Are our standards a joke to the planning department?
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Re: What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby jdfi » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:57 pm

The highways may not be involved in this at all. Is there a proposal to adopt?

What does the written down clause say in their title?
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Re: What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby Eliza » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:05 pm

I'm following this thread with interest - as I was told my road was meant to be adopted back when. It never was and I'm puzzled at how I think it's too narrow for present-day standards and I would have thought there would have been laid-down standards even back then (being some decades ago). I'm pretty sure I've read there are legal regulations as to how wide a road has to be/about visibility splays/etc. It's just a question of what those regulations say.
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....
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Re: What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby smileyman » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:42 pm

The Highways department are guided by adopted policy guidlines they state the ideal requirement for safety. Here as in many parts of the Uk it means a minimum access width of 5 meters with external splays 2 m x 2 m. But if you dont't have the land under your control they let you have internal splays of 1.5m which really means imaginary splays and you are supposed to drive in the centre of the access. Not really safe is it as they always as a condition ask the first 5 meters to be tarmacced for at least 5 meters in length. This stops stones going onto path and allows 2 cars to pass. Without a physical obstruction keeping a car from one side there are no real pedestrian splays. In planning there are specialised solicitos often former planning officers they foster a network of contacts and get conditions dropped or minimum spec accepted. Corrupt, depends on ones point of view and definition. Personally I have misgivings and like to see consistency over decisions.
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Re: What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:43 pm

Hi smileyman,

how are the various users coping with the layout at the mo?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby smileyman » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:12 am

Hi well I agree it seems a network of former planning officers get things sorted. Question is if the land owner believes the substandard but approved access could pose a real danger and can refuse the works (restrictive covenant) where would he stand. The law states if an accident occurs on the highway (which in our case is the path) the land owner can be liable if he has created via a positive action the danger. So take the case of a pedestrian being hit by a car leaving the access. Liability is sort, highways state as always no liability, then the cars insurers may well look at the substandard access and its intensification. If they find the owners voiced concerns over its safety but allowed it then it would place the owners in a precarious position. Therefore given the circumstances is the owner best advised to refuse access works as it does not meet current standards and is at a bvusy junction.
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Re: What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:47 am

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi smileyman,

how are the various users coping with the layout at the mo?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby smileyman » Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:12 pm

No intensification as yet. But the access way as is now before any works are done has the track a couple of feet from the side thus it could be argued is safer. But with the required planning conditions of tarmacing the entire 5 meter width a vehicle could go right to the side. The core point is more vehicles equals greater chance of an accident on a sub standard drive.
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Re: What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:32 pm

Hi smileyman,

apologies, I should have been clearer.

my question was posted in response to reading the following:

the access is a tad under 5 meters wide at the road end and has no external pedestrian splays. Worse our 7ft privit hedge blocks the view from pedestrians along the path on one side from emerging vehicles. You would expect the planning dept to refuse or make splays conditional.

why do you think I'd expect the planning dept to make splays conditional when the current users are coping just fine?

if you think splays/visibility is a genuine issue you could take action right now could you not?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby smileyman » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:56 pm

If you have nothing to add in a constructive manner Mac on a subject you clearly know little about I would prefer you to say nothing. For your information highway access spec over the years like many standards has been uprated. We have many more vehicles on the road and with the use of mobile technology pedestrian behaviour could be argued to have changed. That aside in years gone by all you needed was a certain width. Then as fromthe 1980's pedestrian splays on either side of your access under your control. Each local autthority states a LDP local Development Policy which it uses to guide its development. In this case it is 5 meters width with 2 meter triangular pedestrian splays on each side. Now this would only apply to new development or where development means an existing access is being intensified. There are occasions when the highways will accept a sub standard access but either it will be nin a quiet location or they will ask for other conditions to mitigate their compromise. In our case we do not see mitigation and percentage wise intensification could double and we are situated at a busy junction with good pedestrian usage. So like any land owner would do we take an interest in safety issues. It is not an argument where safety is compromised on historical measures. I would point to the extreme of Grenfell to see what can happen where safety is compromised.
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Re: What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:18 pm

Hi smileyman,

apologies if I've upset you.

I've not commented on the planning application, so unsure how it's so clear I know little about the subject.

I was simply suggesting that, if your main concern is that the access road should have improved splays/sight lines then I'd get on with making some changes for the better.

let's assume for a moment that the planning application was never submitted - what then?

or have I misunderstood the situation?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby smileyman » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:43 am

mac aplogy accepted. Yes you have misunderstood. Planning fron meighbour approved. Our hedge in our garden prevents them from having a splay area. We wish to keep our garden as is.Highways should not in our opinion allow substandard access at a busy junction. As I have said as we have to allow it (or refuse) we are placed in an arkward position. Our inclination is to refuse as knowing the access is substandard and allowing it may give us issues of liability should an accident happen. Yes we could easily sort this by giving up some of our land but why would we?
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Re: What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:56 am

Hi smileyman,

does that mean sight lines/splays have not been an issue to date? and it is the reconfiguring of the access which will create the issue?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby smileyman » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:56 pm

the intensification of use requires upgrade of access way normally including pedestrian splays, so yes.However the neighbour with the planning approval has no land on which to provide a splay. In such circumstances looking at many others and given the standards the highways dept work to states pedestrian safety is at the top, it is hard to see why the compromise from their stated standards can be acceptable and are we as the land owners not supposed to complain over such safety issues. If it was your little child that got struck you may well be asking questions. The cars insurer might ask questions too over the substandard access. We could say we knew it was substandard but the highways said it was ok. Surely knowing it is substandard and allowing it is questionable...certainly in law it could be.
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Re: What standards do the Highways Dept work to?

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:27 pm

Hi smileyman,

Surely knowing it is substandard and allowing it is questionable...

that is the point I was trying to make - you know it's substandard NOW and you allow it...

...but now you've clarified that it isn't substandard NOW so I was mistaken.

Kind regards, Mac
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