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Highway boundaries

Highway boundaries

The public highway is an area that the public have a right to pass and repass. The highway includes the road-side verge and footways as well as the carriageway.

Highway Boundaries V5 Cr

The diagram shows a cross-section of an average road. The road is in the centre, with footways on both sides and a grass verge on the left. On the verge there is a traffic sign, on the right-hand footway there is a lamp post. There are properties and gardens on either side of the road, with examples of highway boundary features at the edges of the gardens. The highway boundary feature on the left is a hedge. The highway boundary feature on the right is a drainage ditch.

This example shows a straightforward scenario. Often the actual situation is unclear and requires research to establish the correct highway boundary extent.

The duty of Norfolk County Council, as the highway authority for Norfolk, is to maintain the roads and footways and most public rights of way and to safeguard highway rights on these routes.

Land ownership enquiries should be directed to Land Registry.


If you have a query about any of the following please email

  • Positioning a new fence, hedge or wall at the front of your property
  • Ownership of a ditch, tree or hedge that is between your property and the road
  • Whether your property abuts the highway
  • The road-side verge in front of your property
  • The width of public rights of way

Please attach a plan of the area you are interested in as this will speed up the process.

Note: The trunk roads (A11 and A47) that run through the county are the responsibility of National Highways, not Norfolk County Council.


Research to confirm the extent of the public highway for commercial use (at one location) costs £69.49 plus VAT for the first 50 metres of research.It costs a further £24.82 plus VAT for every additional 50 metres of research thereafter.

Please note: If both sides of a road or public right of way are required, the metreage quoted for will double. This is to account for the research required for both highway boundary lines that define the highway corridor.