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Highway obstructions

Blocking public roads and footpaths with containers, A-boards, building materials or other items can restrict walkway access and create dangerous obstructions for blind, elderly or disabled people.

Report highway obstructions

Report highway obstructions

What you need to provide

  • the street or road name
  • the location of the obstruction on the street (for example: is it near a house number or road junction?)
  • a description of the obstruction
  • the date and time when you saw it
  • the name of the person or company responsible, or a vehicle registration number if known


To make sure our streets are accessible to all, and to make sure we are consistent, no A-boards are allowed on the public highway in Hackney.

A-boards can be a major hazard to pedestrians, especially for people with visual impairments or physical disabilities. They can clutter the pavement, making it difficult for people in wheelchairs or people with pushchairs to use the space.

We issue warnings and fines for A-boards on all roads apart from red routes, as they are managed by Transport for London (TfL). TfL are enforcing Stoke Newington High Street and Kingsland High Street.

Read our A-board guidance to find out more about why A-boards are not allowed and see some alternative ways to advertise your business.

Other highway obstructions

To ensure the public’s safe access to highways in Hackney, we regulate the following highway obstructions:

  • small containers used as safe storage facilities for the delivery of goods outside business hours
  • large containers used for storing building tools and materials during a building project
  • cross-overs and building materials including sand, cement or rubble placed temporarily on the highway while building works are carried out
  • scaffolding
  • hoardings
  • skips
  • mud or debris on public roads
  • discharge of water from a premises onto the highway
  • plants and bushes outside premises
  • encroachment of highway boundaries
  • unauthorised vendors/traders

How we manage highway obstructions

It is an offence to obstruct the public highway without an appropriate licence.

We can prosecute anyone obstructing the public highway without an appropriate licence or issue a £100-£150 penalty.

Responsibilities of businesses

If you own or run a business in Hackney, and wish to obstruct a public highway in any manner, you must obtain an appropriate licence:

Page updated on: 28 November 2019

Community Safety, Business Regulation and Enforcement Service


1st Floor, Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY


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