Road Adoption (Section 38)

A common way of creating new highways is by an agreement between developers and the local highway authority, Salford City Council, under Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980.

These agreements are most often made with housing developers, who agree to build the roads to standards laid down by the highway authority. In return, Salford City Council, agree to adopt the roads and to maintain them thereafter as public highways. However, until a road has been adopted it remains private and the responsibility of the developer/house owners.

It is Salford City Council's policy that a road will not be adopted until the proposed adoptable sewer underneath has been adopted by United Utilities. See sewer adoptions below.

General enquiries

If you want to find out if a road on a particular development is adopted or unadopted, please call 0161 779 6100 or email

If you want to establish why a particular development has not been adopted, please call 0161 779 4894 or email

Street lighting enquiries

Please refer to our street lighting page.

Information for prospective developers

An information for developers and associated application form are available to download from the bottom of this page. They highlight the requirements for entering into a section 38 agreement with Salford City Council. For further information, please call 0161 779 4894 or email

Copies of section 38 agreements

If you would like to purchase a copy of a section 38 agreement, please email There is no charge for a copy.

Sewer adoptions (section 104 agreements)

Salford City Council is not responsible for managing the public sewerage network in Salford. This is now undertaken by United Utilities. Enquiries regarding sewerage on developments should be directed to United Utilities by emailing

Any problems on or caused by the public sewerage network should be reported to United Utilities using the same number.

Section 38/278 - general requirements

If the applicant wishes to enter into a S38/278 agreement with Salford City Council (SCC), the general requirements for new roads for adoption (S38) and for undertaking works on the existing adopted highway (S278) are as follows:

See the general requirements

  1. Minimum carriageway width = 5.5m.
  2. Minimum carriageway width = 6.75m on larger development, from the entrance into the development to the first junction.
  3. Minimum footway width = 2.0m on both sides of the carriageway.
  4. Minimum kerb radius into the development = 8.0m.
  5. Minimum carriageway centre line radius = 30m or 15m depending on the category of road.
  6. All cul-de-sacs must have a turning facility that complies with SCC requirements. The current length of a SCC refuse wagon is 10.52m (but this subject to change). The applicant will need to demonstrate that this vehicle can turn around in any proposed turning head (Note that ‘turning on the spot’ is not acceptable).
  7. If the applicant can demonstrate there is no need for a 2m wide footway adjacent on one side of the carriageway, then a 0.5m wide hardmargin is allowed running the full length of the carriageway in question. The hardmargin will need to be increased to a 1.2m x 1.2m hardstanding area to accommodate any street lighting columns on the same side as the hardmargin. The lighting column needs to be installed 0.8m from the kerb face to the front of the column, slightly offset with the door facing away from oncoming traffic.
  8. All proposed adoptable roads are to be lit to current LED standards.
  9. All pedestrian dropped crossing are to have tactile paving (buff tactile block paving is to be used).
  10. All works on the adjacent adopted highway to be agreed via a S278 agreement.
  11. Any trees and associated tree pits ideally need to be installed behind the footways and hardmargins.
  12. Speed reducing features (ie flat top or round top roads humps) may be required as part of the road adoption process.
  13. A commuted sum (at least 30 years) will be required for those materials that are above SCC’s standard specification. Commuted sums are also required for (but not limited to) the following: Retaining walls, landscaped (grassed) areas, trees, culverted watercourses and associated manholes. Note that block paving in the carriageway/footway is not accepted for adoption).
  14. All carriageways, footways, highway drainage and street lighting must be constructed to SCC’s current adoptable standards.
  15. The adoptable highway drainage system must either connect into a proposed adoptable surface water system, or an existing United Utilities adopted surface water sewer or a watercourse where a consent to discharge from the Environmental Agency is required.
  16. Carriageways to have a maximum longfall of 1/20 and a maximum crossfall of 1/30.
  17. Footways to have maximum longfall of 1/20 and a crossfall of 1/40.
  18. Construction of all proposed adoptable roads are to be to current SCC standards.
  19. No gates (to driveways or properties) are to open onto the adopted/adoptable highway.
  20. Any proposed shared private drives, private parking areas and shared surfaces are not eligible for adoption.
  21. With regards to driveways the taper kerbs (transition kerbs) must be set back 0.5m from the extent of the driveway on either side to prevent overrunning of the taper kerbs.
  22. The utility companies must be contacted and informed that their proposed layouts need to be designed so that the inspection chambers, associated with their proposed apparatus etc, are not constructed in the quadrants of the footways on the Road Radii’s (where the tactile paving is to be located).

S38/S278 fee

The fee for the proposed adoptable roads on this development will be calculated in accordance with Salford City Council's fee structure and is currently set at 8% of the council's estimated cost of the S38/S278 works (but this is subject to change).

Note that additional fees may be charged for checking any major changes to the designs or where there are significant changes to construction works
programme. The fee includes for the following:

  • Drawing appraisal and technical acceptance of the drawings.
  • Inspection of the S38 and S278 highway works during construction and at the end of the maintenance period.
  • Liaising with various sections of Salford City Council, including but not limited to the Traffic, Road Safety, Street Lighting, Structures sections.
  • Liaising with Salford City Councils Legal section with regards to the production of the legal agreements.
  • Administration of the legal agreements (issue of certificates etc).
  • All correspondence in relation to the above points.

Useful contacts

With regards to highway works and adoption agreements, the developer needs to contact

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

Elsewhere on the web

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