A road for the purposes of legislation includes any street, lane, footpath, square, court, alley or passage. It includes bridges, viaducts, tunnels, overpasses, flyover’s, carriageways, pavement or footway.
It includes weighbridges or other facilities for weighing of vehicles, toll plazas or other facilities for collection of tolls, service areas, emergency telephone, first aid post, culvert, arch, gulley, railing, fence, guardrail, margin, hard shoulder, island, pedestrian refuge, median, central reserve, channelliser, roundabout, gantry, pole, ramp, bollard, pipe, wire, cable, sign, signal or lighting forming part of the road and any other structure or thing forming part of the road and necessary for the safety, convenience or amenity of road users or for the construction, maintenance and operation and management of the road or for the protection of the environment.
The Minister made by order, adapt any enactment or instrument relating to a road by deleting reference to a main road, county road or urban road, trunk road or link road and substituting national road, regional road or local road as he sees fit.
The Minister for Transport may by order classify any existing public road or proposed public road as a national road or a regional road. Any road other than the above is a local road. Any new or replacement part of a national or regional road will become a national or regional road.
The Minister may make regulations prescribing classes of public road in addition to those above. They may make provision for assignment of responsibility for maintenance and construction of such classes of roads and for the adaptation for that purpose of provisions below.
The Minister in the case of national and regional roads and road authority in the case of local roads may designate particular roads for particular purposes, and divide particular classes of roads into subclasses.
The Minister is to assign a number or other identifying mark to each national and regional road. The road authority is to assign a number and an identifying mark to each local road which is its responsibility.
The roads authority shall maintain a schedule and map of all public roads in respect of which it has responsibility. A road authority was to prepare a schedule and map as soon as practicable after the legislation commenced. It shall be open for inspection at its offices during office hours. It shall be in legible form or be capable of reproduction in legible form.
A road authority may by order declare, any road over which public rights exist to be a public road. Every such road shall be deemed to be a public road and the responsibility for its maintenance shall lie on the road authority.
Where it is proposed to declare a road to be a public road, the authority is to satisfy itself that the road is of general public utility. It is to consider the financial implications of the proposed declaration. It is to publish a proposal in one or more newspapers circulating in the area of the proposal, stating where maps can be inspected and stating periods during which the objections and representations may be made.
It is to consider any objections and requisitions which are made and not withdrawn. The consideration of objections and representations shall be a reserved function. The Minister may prescribe criteria for the declaration of roads to be public roads and the road authority must comply with them in exercising its function.
Every national, regional road, motorway, bus way and protected road is automatically a public road. It is not necessary for the roads authority to make an order so declaring it.
A certificate of a road authority that a road is a public road is presumptive evidence of this position. Every road which was a public road under the older legislations shall be continued as a public road. Roads built by a road authority after the 1993 Act, unless otherwise declared are automatically a public road and a declaration is not required.
A road authority may abandon a public road following a particular procedure. Where it proposes to abandon a road, it shall publish a proposal circulating in newspapers in the area where the road is located.
It shall specify time during which maps of the proposal road may be inspected and stating that objections and representations may be made.It shall affix a notice in a prominent position at each end of the road proposed to be abandoned and leave it in place for a period of at least 14 days.
The road authority is to consider objections and representations made and not withdrawn. If it considers appropriate, it shall afford an opportunity to persons making objections or representations, who so request in writing to state their case at an oral hearing conducted by a person appointed by the roads authority. It shall consider the report and any recommendation of the person so appointed.
A roads authority may make an order abandoning the public road specified in the notice following the above procedure. An order relating to a national or regional road shall not be effective unless the Minister for Transport consent. The Minister may, by order, approve the order with or without modifications or may refuse approval. The Minister shall consult with the Authority before making an order under this power in relation to a national road.
A road authority is no longer responsible for maintenance from the date of abandonment. The abandonment of a public road shall not affect any public right of way over the road and road authority shall not do anything to interfere with such right of way save as is provided by law.
After a public road has been abandoned, the roads authority is to publish notice of the abandonment in newspapers circulating in the area. It is to notify in writing any person who made written objections or representations in relation to abandonment. The consideration of objections and representations and report of recommendations of a person appointed above are reserved functions.
The Minister may make regulations in relation to the abandonment of a road. In particular, he may specify criteria for abandonment. A road authority shall comply with the regulations in performing its functions.
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