Abandonment of a Public Road
Section12 of the Roads Act 1993 governs the abandonment of a public road.
The section requires that the road authority shall give public notice of any proposal to abandon a public road. This notice must be placed in one or more newspapers and a sign must be placed at either end of the road affected for at least 14 days. A minimum period of one month must be allowed for inspection of the proposal and a further two weeks for the making of objections or representations. The road authority must consider all written objections and representations received.
Any person making objections or representations can request the authority to hear his/her case at an oral hearing and the local authority may, if it considers it appropriate appoint a person to hold an oral hearing and must consider that person’s report.
The making of an order and the consideration of objections or representations are reserved functions of the elected members.
Ministerial approval is necessary to give effect to a road authority’s order to abandon a national or regional road. The Minister must consult with the National Roads Authority before making a decision affecting a national road.
The road authority must publish a newspaper notice announcing the abandonment of a road (i.e. when it has made an order abandoning the road or in the case of national or regional roads, when the Minister has approved the abandonment order) and must also notify the objectors and persons who made representations.
The abandonment of a public road shall mean that the road authority will no longer have responsibility for the maintenance of the abandoned road, however, the abandonment of the road does not affect the public right of way over the road.