Tarmacing a private road – Everything you need to know


Not all roads are owned by the local council and quite often at M J Davidson, we find that there is some confusion about what to do when a private road needs tarmacing or maintaining. Tarmacing a private road can be quite complex, so here’s everything you need to know:

#1 – Whoever owns the land has a responsibility

The first thing to know is that a private road is the responsibility of whoever owns the land. Quite commonly this is found where homes and businesses are set apart from public roads and require access by vehicle. Like all roads they will need maintenance after years of use and failure to do so can result in damage to vehicles and poor drainage, as well as a long list of other potential issues.

#2 – If ownership is unclear you may still need to accept some responsibility

If it is unclear who owns the road then it often falls to those who use it regularly to maintain it. This is known as an ‘unadopted road’. This is quite a common occurrence in some residential areas and most commercial compounds. In this case, there is no clear answer. However, if the road has become unbearable it’s not uncommon for the residents or businesses that share the road to club together and cover the costs.

#3 – It’s cheaper to maintain than replace

If a private road that you commonly use has started to degrade noticeably it can be more cost effective to get it sorted early rather than wait for it to become unusable. In short, it’s much smarter to keep a private road regularly maintained than wait for it to require a full resurfacing at a greater cost. This is why you often see council’s making repairs to roads regularly before they need to be totally resurfaced.

#4 – You could become liable

Another consideration that you should bear in mind is that as the owner of an unadopted road is that on some occasions the owner can become liable for any accidents that occur on their road. This may seem unfair, but should someone injure themselves walking on the unstable road or crash their car it could leave you liable for damages. This is another reason that you should always consider keeping a private road well maintained in order to protect yourself or your business from incurring additional charges.

The cost of tarmacing a private road is tough to call, it’s dependent upon a number of factors, including square footage, whether it’s easily accessible and much more. The best way to get an accurate quote is to obtain a quote from a local tarmacing contractor, such as ourselves!

If you’re struggling with a private road and unsure about how to proceed, feel free to get in contact with M J Davidson. We can provide an accurate quote and have over 10 years experience in tarmacing public and private roads. Call us on 01772 616640 or email¬†enquiries@mjdavidson.co.uk.