Who is responsible for roads, footpaths, grass, roundabouts and lighting

Sutton Bridge village green as it looked in May this year.
Sutton Bridge village green as it looked in May this year.
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CABINET CALL: A weekly column by members of South Holland District Council’s Cabinet. This week with Coun Roger-Gambba Jones...

Roads, footpaths, grass verges, roundabouts and lighting: who does what?

Most people now realise that the county council looks after the lights on all public streets and roadways.

Every post, including those used for road signs, have a number sticker on them.  

As well as a number, there will be three or four letters. Lamp posts that are the responsibility of Lincolnshire County Council, have LCC on the sticker, with South Holland’s having SHDC.

The lighting columns used to illuminate footpaths running through open space areas and residential areas, are almost always the responsibility of South Holland District Council.

So the rule of thumb is, defective light, check the sticker letters, make a note of the number and report it to the council matching the letters.

Unfortunately, our grassed areas don’t come with stickers, but can, in most cases, be attributed reasonably easily. 

Roadways are maintained by the highway authority which is Lincolnshire County Council. Roundabouts are all LCC’s responsibility.

When it comes to the grass along public roadways and streets, it helps to look at these in the same way as pavements, or foot pads as locals sometimes call them. 

In other words, any strip of land, in this case, the grass verges alongside streets and roadways, are the responsibility of LCC.

Trees, shrubs and bushes within these areas also tend to be the responsibility of the highway authority.

So for highways, grassed areas adjacent to the highway, are the responsibility of the highway authority, LCC.

Open space areas, including those with play equipment on, are generally the responsibility of the district council, SHDC. 

Again, all trees, shrubs and bushes on these areas, will also be the district council’s responsibility.

So what’s changed and why have some of the grassed areas been cut and others not?

The simple answer is that LCC has stopped paying SHDC to cut their grass, seven times a year on their behalf. 

The downside of SHDC getting paid to cut LCC’s grass for them is that it gives residents the impression that SHDC is also directly responsible for all grass. LCC will now only cut their areas of grass twice a year and then only for road safety reasons.

Even this is unclear, because it leaves us uncertain if that means that LCC won’t cut the grass in any residential areas, where they feel there’s no road safety implications.