Help us keep the network safe this autumn

Posted on: October 19, 2023 at 11:01 am

As temperatures drop and the nights close in, Island Roads is reminding Islanders of steps they should take to help keep the road network safe this autumn.

While the Highways PFI company switches into autumn mode through actions such as prepping the winter maintenance fleet and increasing leaf sweeping, it is keen to remind residents of their responsibilities.

In particular, Island Roads is keen that landowners are aware of what they need to do to prevent highway flooding.

The road drainage system is only designed to carry away water that has fallen onto the highway – not water that enters the network from adjoining land and/or property.

Under the Highways Act, it is an offence to allow water from private land to go onto the highway as it may pose a danger to other road users.

In recent years, Island Roads has worked positively with local organisations on the Ditch It! campaign which promotes the steps landowners should do to prevent highway flooding such as ensuring private ditches are working effectively and watercourses such as streams are clear of debris that may have collected during the summer and autumn.

For its part, Island Roads carries out regular maintenance of the highway drainage system including those drains, gullies and roadside ditches for which it is responsible.

Similarly, landowners have a duty to minimise the risk of trees or branches falling from their land onto the public highway. Autumn is a good time for detailed inspections of trees as any damage to the trunk and branches may be more visible following leaf-fall. Island Roads surveys those trees for which it is responsible all-year round but also has a particularly intensive annual survey of network trees so it can decide on any maintenance works needed.

For advice on the steps you can take to reduce highway flooding see

and for advice on tree management see

Dave Wallis, operations and maintenance manager said; “Though we endeavour to do what is required of us, we really do need the support of adjoining landowners who also have a major role to play in preventing highway flooding.

“While those who cause highway flooding face prosecution, prevention is, of course, better than cure and we are always ready to discuss with landowners what they need to do to ensure they meet their responsibilities.”

For further information about highway flooding visit the homepage of