Highway obstructions

Obstructions are objects which have been unlawfully placed on or which overhang the highway.

below are some frequently asked questions:

Are building materials allowed to be placed on the highway?

Building materials can cause a hazard on Wirral’s roads and even damage grass verges and pavements.

In certain circumstances, however, materials may be permitted under license.

What can I do about overhanging trees/overgrown hedges?

Privately owned trees or overgrown hedges can create problems for pedestrians walking along the pavement or public right of way.

If they are causing an obstruction, the local authority can ask for them to be cut back.

The Council may ask you formally to cut back the greenery within 14 working days.

Many residents are surprised to learn that if you don't, by law our officers may have to step in and cut back the overgrown trees or hedges and bill you for the cost of the work.

Please Note:

Your tree/s may be protected by Tree Preservation Order (TPO)or situiated within a Conservation Area. In such circumstances you may only carry out the minimum of work sufficient enough to remove the obstruction and abate the nuisance, e.g low branches. The work should, where appropriate, be carried out to the current British Standard, BS 3998, “Recommendations for Tree Work”

By example: a typical work specification for protected tree/s or tree/s situated within a Conservation Area would be; prune back to boundary and/or to a height of 2.5m over pavement and/or 5m over the highway. These specified statutory clearances ensure the safe passage of pedestrians and highway users

Do I need permission to build a car crossing (drive access) outside my house?

If you are considering having work carried out on the highway outside your home to create access to a driveway, you must contact and obtain permission from the Council by contacting Streetscene advisors. You should be aware that you may also require planning permission.

Any unauthorised crossings may be removed and the highway reinstated. The cost of these works could then be billed to the householder.

For more information click here.

What about vehicles causing an obstruction on a public road or pavement?

If vehicles are causing an obstruction, meaning that cars and other emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire engines are unable to drive down the road in order to get to a emergency, you should report this to the Police. You can do this either -

  • Online by clicking here


• by phone on 0151 709 6010 and ask for the Wirral Control Room

What can be done about vehicles advertised for sale on the highway?

The Council has no authority to prevent a person from putting a ‘for sale’ sign in their vehicle and parking it on a public road.

However the Council may be able to take action where a business is advertising two or more vehicles for sale on a public road within 500 metres of each other.

To report a business selling vehicles on a public road, please use the on-line form at the top right of this page.

What about repairs to vehicles being carried out on public roads?

Sometimes people will need to carry out running repairs to a vehicle on a public road. However it is illegal to carry out repairs to vehicles on the highway as part of a business and the Council has the authority to take action where this occurs.

To report a person carrying out repairs to vehicles on the highway as a business please use the online form at the top right of this page.

Street Trading

All street traders must hold a valid street trading license.

For more information about street trading licenses, please click here.

‘A’ boards, shop displays, pavement cafes and other items displayed on the highway

'A' boards and shop front displays outside shops are how greengrocers and florists often display their produce or advertise their business.

Sometimes these can create an obstruction or hazard for pedestrians. In certain circumstances the Council can licence 'A' boards, shop displays and other items placed on the highway. In some instances there may be a fee for this, click here for full details.

However, where it is not safe to place items on the footway the Council will not issue a licence and may enforce the removal of any item/s.