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Highways Access Appraisal FAQs

1. What is a Highways Access Appraisal?

A highways access appraisal is a report on the viability of gaining access from a particular point to land.  It takes into account visibility splays, speed limits, topography and carriageway dimensions among other variables to allow an informed decision to be taken on your proposed access.

2. Why would my access be refused?

The local highways authority take many things into consideration when deciding whether to grant a new access point including topography, visibility, road layout and road speed.  It's not enough to look at someone elses access and say 'well they got it, why can't I?', you need to show that your access won't have any impact on road safety.  A highways access appraisal can help you overcome these problems before they arise.

3. If my access is refused, what can I do?

Your way forward will differ depending on the reason highways have refused your access.  Should the issue be with topography, a highways engineer may be able to help you overcome this issue.  Whilst this isn't something the transport consultants at iRIS would handle, feel free to get in touch and we will introduce you to an engineer we personally recommend for you and your development.  Should your issue be with visibility or road speed, the first thing to do is to check these are out of tolerance - actual vehicle speed may vary greatly from the regulation speed limit and this can impact on the decision.  The final option is to alter the location of the access point.

4. Will I need to check the speed on the road my access fronts on to?

Depending on the speed limit and actual visibility, you may not need to conduct a speed survey - in fact in 97% of our cases this isn't required.  In most cases for smaller developments this will only be required where visibility to the left or right of the carriageway is below the required level.

5. What months can I have a speed survey conducted?

You can conduct a speed survey whenever you like, however local councils are likely to request surveys to be taken over a 7 day period in a neutral month of April, May, June, September and October.  Should you choose to take a survey outside these times for your own information, please be aware that these findings may not be accepted by the local council and they may request further samples.

6. Do I need a manual or automatic speed survey?

A manual speed survey is only really appropriate on minor roads where the report is being used for information only.  Whilst some councils will accept manual speed survey results, many will not.  They are rarely appropriate on major roads as it is unlikely that the sample size will be appropriate.

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