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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Highway or Pavement Obstructions


Please tell us about any form of obstruction on the roads or pavement. These may include such things as advertising boards ('A-boards') on the pavement, building materials placed on the highway or pavement by builders or contractors, or general debris which may cause a hazard to road users or pedestrians.

It is an offence to obstruct the free passage of the highway. Obstructions are objects which have been placed on a road/ street or which overhang it without permission.

Obstructions caused by Domestic or Garden rubbish, Wheelie Bins, White Goods and Fly Tipping can be reported to our Waste Management team.

Other types of obstructions are objects which have been unlawfully placed on or which overhang the highway. The types of obstructions that can be reported are given below:

  • builders' materials
  • overhanging tree branches, hedges and bushes
  • mud/debris on the road
  • encroachment of highway boundaries
  • illegal signs

Obstruction of the Public Highway, by goods/advertising boards placed on footways outside or near trade/shop premises can cause problems for pedestrians, especially for prams and people in wheelchairs, but also can be a source of danger for partially-sighted and blind people.

The placing of such goods/advertising boards on the Public Highway constitutes offences under both the Highways Act 1980 and also Section 28 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847.

Highways License Application

Occupation or Excavation of the highway requires a License or Permit to do so. License applications in this section include:

Under the Highways Act 1980;

  • Scaffold
  • Hoard
  • Crane (and other lifting appliance)
  • Cart over (temporary access / egress to site)
  • Excavation
  • Temporary deposit of materials (placing items on the highway other than vehicles)

Do not use this form to report obstructions caused by inconsiderate or illegal parking. You can report these sorts of parking problems here.

Information required when reporting a problem

Key information required is:

Location - Please provide as much detail as possible to identify the location of the problem. Reports of a general nature regarding the network condition will be investigated, however for specific reports about a potential hazard please try to pinpoint the location as close as possible on the map contained within the reporting form.

Please also include:

  • road names;
  • name of the junction or road, and other easily identifiable landmarks; school, shops, Public Building or Hospital.
  • identifying features on the road such as a property address or lamp column number that the obstruction appears near to; and

Description of the problem - Please provide as much detail as possible and include:

  • details of the obstruction
  • location in the road surface (at the edge, in the middle etc) and on main roads if the defect is In to city or Out of city, North or South bound·
  • Asset number – each set of signals should have a unique reference number on the column or cabinet box next to the signals, if you can provide this number it will help us identify the location and respond more efficiently.
  • If any damage has been caused by a vehicle, please provide any information of who caused the damage details e.g. Vehicle Make and model (Ford Focus etc.), Colour, Registration number etc.

Your contact details - In case we need to contact you for more details, we ask that you provide us with your contact details.

Please ensure you do not put yourself or anyone else in danger when obtaining details about the fault.

The above information is very helpful as this will help us prioritise the enquiry and also enable us to provide a more efficient response.

How you can help us
  • Notifying us of problems/defects - use our online reporting system
  • Keeping trees and hedges trimmed to avoid overhanging the Highway.
  • Reporting any damage, vandalism or theft.
  • Not damaging footways or verges by parking on them.
  • Not obstructing footways or using flyposting with commercial displays.

Out of Hours

If you consider any fault you are reporting to be causing a serious hazard to traffic or pedestrians and is in need of urgent attention, please telephone 0121 303 4149 (Mon - Fri (5:00pm - 9:00am) and weekends).

Our Promise

Millions of people use the city’s highways and road networks every day, whether they are motorists or pedestrians. Our Highways Service is committed to providing a consistently high level of service and routinely undertakes inspections to make sure the roads, footways, bridges and street lights across the city are safe for all.

Sometimes, problems occur and we will do our utmost to fix them.

If you report an obstruction on the highway, we will:

  • Make it safe within one hour

Well maintained highways

The highway network is a most highly valued physical asset, both in financial and community terms, for which public authorities are responsible. Effective stewardship and asset management is crucially important, both to users and the community. Authorities are recommended to adopt the principles of the Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management, to adapt them as necessary based on consideration of local circumstances, and apply them consistently.

Highway Inspections

We undertake all our highway works and inspections in accordance to national standards and this sets strict safety criteria to ensure that all public footways and carriageways are safe for public use.

This criteria is based on a safety matrix, whereby any urgent defects are rectified within one hour of us being notified and all other defects are repaired using varying timescales this, dependent upon the severity of the defect, Repairs are carried out in accordance with our service standards. Emergency defects (e.g. where the pothole is of a size and location to put both the probability and impact of an accident as very high) should be attended within one hour. At that initial visit, the site will be made safe either with barriers or a temporary repair. Other potholes are added to the list of works and an Enquiry Inspector will visit site and use the risk matrix to determine the category of the defect.

Essential Information
  • There is no additional information
Frequently Asked Questions
    • How quickly this report is dealt with depends on how urgent the problem is.

      We will inspect anything you report within a maximum of 5 working days.

      Dangerous faults or situations will be made safe within 24 hours of the report.

      All other defects will be scheduled for attention or repair within planned programmes, for Street lighting faults usually within 12 business days (95% of the time) and for Street Names Plates with 28 business days from the report.

    • If you haven't been able to find the information that you need then the link below will take you to a form that you can use to ask us further questions.

      Service Specific Enquiry