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Luton Borough Council

Road maintenance

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Roadworks and traffic issues

Sometimes, works on the highway, or some large deliveries, require a road to be closed temporarily to general traffic.

All closures require a Temporary Traffic Restriction Notice, issued by highway maintenance services. The costs involved for both the closure and diversion signing will have to be met by the person requesting the closure.

As there is a legal and consultative process to be undertaken, at least 6 weeks notice of closure is required.

For further information please contact the Highway Management Office using the contact details provided. For an update on road closures visit our roadworks and incidents page.

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Sometimes it is necessary to close roads to allow sporting events, parades and demonstrations to take place safely.

Sometimes, in special circumstances roads are closed to allow sporting events or parades to take place. When special events require the road to be closed off to general traffic a temporary road closure is required which is granted with the written agreement of the police. Such closures require a traffic regulation order. All costs for the closure and diversion signing are borne by the event organiser. At least six weeks notice is required and for some events up to three months will be needed in order to organise them properly. Large events may require even longer.

Usually roads which are closed for sporting events can only be closed once a year without the consent of The Secretary of State.

Demonstrations cannot be dealt with by the council and for these events the Police must be contacted so that they can make the appropriate arrangements.

We have a responsibility to keep the roads and footpaths safe to use.

We are responsible for maintaining the roads (technically known as 'carriageways') and pavements (known as 'footways') of adopted highways. We inspect every adopted highway on a regular basis. Any area of road or pavement which the inspector thinks may become an imminent danger to road users or pedestrians is noted and a repair arranged.

If during this inspection any streets are judged to need more extensive treatment they are listed and their condition is visually assessed at a later date.

Each year we carry out a visual survey of the condition of all principal and other classified roads, some of the busiest unclassified roads and those unclassified roads that need more extensive treatment than minor repairs. This then provides us with the information needed to draw up our annual structural maintenance programme.

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Adopted roads and highways

Adopted roads

An adopted road is maintained at public expense, usually by the Highway Authority. In Luton the "Council" is the Highway Authority and accept the maintenance liability of these roads carrying out repairs to the surface, repairing street lighting, sweeping, cleaning and grass cutting of verges.

Adoption of newly constructed roads

When new housing developments are constructed the roads which serve the properties are on occasion offered for adoption. This is carried out when the Developer and the Council enter into an agreement using the terms and conditions of Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980. When the road is completed to our required specification and passes a twelve month maintenance period during which the developer rectifies any faults which occur during this guarantee period. Once the guarantee period has passed successfully, the adoption process can formally be completed, as we can be assured that the road is of suitable standard to be maintainable at public expense.

Private Roads

A private road is not an adopted road. The maintenance of the road is the responsibility of the owners or residents who each own the part of the road in front of their house. This means that the "Council" as the Highway Authority is under no obligation to carry out repairs or clean these roads, even though it could be a public right of way to which highway and traffic law can be applied.

Adoption of private roads

If all the owners of the road are in agreement and are able to ensure that the condition of the road is of adoptable standard, including surfacing, drainage and street lighting it could then be adopted at our discretion. Any works required to bring the road to an adoptable standard would have to be completed at the expense of the owners or residents.

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Road markings and signage

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Cycle routes are principally indicated by signs and markings. They may be either on the carriageway, on footways either shared with or segregated from pedestrians, or specially designated cycle paths.

Toucan signals

These are special traffic signals, similar to pelican crossings - they have a red man and green man to show when it is safe to cross - but they also have an extra signal, a green cycle. This means that cyclists need not dismount, but can cross over at the same time as pedestrians.

Advanced cycle stop lines

Within ordinary traffic signalled junctions, there are two sets of stop lines on each approach. The one further from the signals is for general traffic, and the one nearer to the signals is for cyclists. This is to give space for cyclists wishing to turn right to safely change from the nearside to the offside.

Contra-flow cycle lanes

When a one-way street is introduced this gives little inconvenience for motorists, but can mean that cyclists have to travel much further. A contra-flow cycle lane lets a cyclist travel against the direction of flow of the one-way street in safety and offers a more convenient and direct route.

The problem is that for a safe contra flow lane, the cyclists must be segregated at each end from the oncoming traffic by a traffic island. This can only be done if the road is wide enough. It may also need to have a parking ban throughout the length of the contra flow lane. This can be difficult in some residential areas with limited off-street parking.

Plug" no entry

This is where a road is two way throughout its length except for a short length of one-way working at one end. This means that entry into the road is banned at one end and traffic is only allowed to exit. To assist cyclists in some instances motor vehicles are banned and a small gap is left to allow cyclists to pass.

Traffic signage

A full catalogue of traffic signage and road markings can be found on the Highway Code website, which includes those that are applicable to cyclists.

The current Cycle Network Map in Luton shows:

  • current and proposed routes
  • cycle parking
  • cycle shops for parts and maintenance
  • main sites of interest in Luton

Printed versions of this map can be obtained from:

  • libraries
  • cycle shops
  • community centres
  • Town Hall

Subject to availability.

Contact information

Transportation strategy group
Luton Borough Council
Town Hall, George Street
Luton
Bedfordshire
LU1 2BQ
T: 01582 547162
F: 01582 546649
E:[email protected]

Highway maintenance will repair any damage to existing road signs on the highway.

The Highway Code gives examples of the most common signs in normal use. All signs on the highway must be prescribed by the Department for Transport (DoT) and authorised by the authority. Special signs are allowed:

  • with prior approval of the DoT
  • if they're experimental and under trial.

Sponsorship and advertising on the highway

For more information on our roundabout sponsorship scheme or lamppost advertising banners, please contact [email protected], or visit:

Signs on private roads

It is the responsibility of the landowner but it is best if the signage conforms to that seen on the carriageway/footway and is readily understood by road users.

'No ball games' signs

These signs are only provided where the police have been involved in disputes and where they have indicated that signing would be helpful towards enforcement.

Tourism signing

Tourism signing provides an important opportunity for both tourism businesses and local economies and will be implemented positively and constructively.

There is of course an advertising element as it helps to generate more impromptu visits. However the primary purpose is to safely guide anyone wishing to visit a tourist destination along the most appropriate route for the latter stages of their journey.

Tourism signs can also be used indicate facilities that a tourist would not reasonably expect to find in that location.

To report broken signage

Telephone: 01582 510333
Days: Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm and Wednesday, 10am to 6pm

Request additional signage

To request additional signage, please contact our Road Safety team. [email protected]@luton.gov.uk

Contact information

Highway services
Luton Council
Central Depot
Kingsway
Luton
Bedfordshire
LU4 8EJ
T: 01582 510333
E:[email protected]

We are responsible for all street nameplates within the borough for all adopted highways

It is up to us to deal with a nameplate that has suffered accidental damage, vandalism or normal wear and tear.

In the case of a new development however, the developer is responsible for the erection of name plates to our specification.

REPORT IT - To report a damaged or missing street name sign, please call 510333.

Mon-Fri, 8am to 6pm
Wed, 10am-6pm

Contact information

Highway services
Luton Council
Central Depot
Kingsway
Luton
Bedfordshire
LU4 8EJ
T: 01582 510333
E:[email protected]

Find out about the specifications for street name plates

Where to park in Luton
There are approximately 5000 off street parking spaces in Luton, the bulk of these being in the town centre, notably at the bus and rail stations, the Arndale centre and Regent Street. All town centre car parks are clearly signed when reaching the town centre. The car park most suited for persons visiting the University is situated in Vicarage Street. The majority of the car parks have both short and long term parking facilities.

There are also 276 pay and display bays in the town centre which operate Monday to Saturday 8am-6pm. There is a maximum time limit of two hours.

Advice regarding parking permits, dispensations, payments for penalty charge notices and appeals against penalty charge notices that have been issued may be made by either visiting the Parking Shop on Gordon Street or calling 01582 547272.

For advice concerning enforcement matters, suspensions of parking bays and car parks generally, contact the parking enforcement unit on 01582 548520.

General pointers regarding parking restrictions.

  1. Double yellow lines indicate no waiting at any time. Time plates are not necessary.
  2. Single yellow lines indicate waiting restrictions at some time during the day.  Refer to the yellow time plates for times except in controlled parking zones. (See 4 below)
  3. Loading restrictions are indicated by yellow kerb markings. Double kerb markings indicate no loading at any time. Single yellow kerb markings indicate no loading at a particular time, again refer to the yellow time plates.
  4. In controlled parking zones the entry signs give details of the times and days restrictions operate. Inside the zone, yellow lines indicate where waiting is prohibited or restricted. No yellow time plates are provided unless the waiting restriction imposed on that particular length of road is different from that indicated on the zone entry sign.

The Highway Code gives examples of such lines and signs.

Contact information

Parking Services
Luton Borough Council
Town Hall
Luton
LU1 2BQ
T: 01582 547272

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Street care and cleaning

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We own and are responsible for highway bridges in the town. There are also other bridge owners/authorities and the largest of these are the:

Highway Agency (trunk roads and motorway),
Network Rail (railways),
Environment Agency (main rivers).

As a rule the bridge usually belongs to the organisation (or its successor) that had cause to need the bridge in the first place. Ownership of bridges has been transferred in some cases, such as when the responsibility for a route changes.

Our bridges are inspected approximately every two years and a programme of maintenance work is drawn up. Incidents of damage through vehicle collision, storm damage, or other causes are investigated as soon as possible. In the case of damage to bridges by vehicles, reporting the vehicle details may mean it is possible for us to claim the cost of the repairs to the bridge or culvert.

Contact information

Traffic engineering team
T: 01582 5462776
E: [email protected]

If you see a flood on a road, who you report it to will depend on whose responsibility it is to deal with it.

To report flooding please call 01582 510333
Mon-Fri, 8am to 6pm
Wed, 10am-6pm

Flooding from public sewers

Luton is served by two different sewerage companies, who own and manage the network of public foul and surface water sewers. The majority of public sewers are located in highways. Thames Water has a copy of the sewer maps, which can be viewed at the their offices.
To report an overflowing public sewer, you should look at your water bill to find out who your supplier is.

If it is Anglian Water you should call them on 08457 14 51 45.
If it is Affinity Water you should call Thames Water on 08459 20 08 00

Flooding from private sewers or drains

If your private drains or sewers are overflowing, you will need a drainage contractor to deal with any blockage, see Yell.com under drain and pipe cleaning. If you are uncertain if any blockage is in the public or private sewers, the sewerage company should be able to determine this, once on site, then recharge you the cost of any work on the private sewers.

Flooding from a burst water main
The local water supply company is Affinity Water (see your water bill). The water company are responsible for their supply up to and including the water stopcock.

Flooding from a water service pipe or internal pipework
This is the water system in the property up to the stopcock and is the responsibility of the homeowner or landlord. It would need the attention of a plumber, see Yell.com or similar directories.

Flooding from a main river

The main rivers are the responsibility of the Environment Agency, on 0845 933 31 11. In addition, the Agency provide a "Floodline", which is a 24 hour advice and information service for floods and flood warning on 0345 988 1188.

Flooding from watercourses, other than main rivers

Watercourses, other than main rivers, are your responsibility if your property or land is on, or very near, a watercourse. You have a duty to keep the watercourse clear of any obstruction to flow and the Council can serve legal notices on you to deal with obstructions. Certain "strategic" watercourses, that are known to pose a high risk of property flooding if they become blocked, are checked and maintained by our contractor on a regular basis.

Provision of sandbags to protect against flooding

We cannot provide sandbags. If your home is at a high risk of flooding, eg. as a result of being in close proximity to a watercourse, we recommended you get sandbags from a builders' merchant as a precaution.

Contact information

Highway services
Luton Council
Central Depot
Kingsway
Luton
Bedfordshire
LU4 8EJ
T: 01582 510333
E:[email protected]

Fly-posting is an illegal, anti-social activity that creates a negative impression of an area and contributes to people's fear of crime.

To request a removal of fly-posting please call 01582 510333
Mon-Fri, 8am to 6pm
Wed, 10am-6pm


We have two dedicated graffiti and fly-posting removal teams.

Contact information

Street services
F: 01582 546863
E: [email protected]

Report incidents of spillage Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, except Wednesdays 10am - 6pm, call 01582 51 03 33. Any other time phone 01582 54 68 38.

Contact information

Street services
F: 01582 546863
E: [email protected]

We are responsible for keeping the borough clean and free of litter.

We will:

  • continuously clean town centres
  • clean main roads once a week
  • clean other roads once a month
  • remove accumulations of rubbish from council land
  • empty litter bins before they are full
  • help with your locally organised clean-ups

You can help us by:

  • being tidy with your litter and chewing gum
  • using the free refuse tips
  • having waste collection contracts for your business
  • not leaving your dog's mess for others
  • not 'fly posting' - it's untidy and illegal
  • not parking where you want us to clean (we are extending our system of road closures to help maintain street cleansing schedules)

Contact information

Street services
F: 01582 546863
E: [email protected]

We are responsible for sweeping streets and removing litter.

Luton's streets are divided into zones, depending on the volume of traffic using the streets each day and the density of population in the area. The more frequently the road is used, the more often it will be swept.

However, if an area becomes unacceptably messy we will clean it up as soon as possible.
To report street litter call 01582  510333, Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm, except Wed, 10am-6pm.

As well as street litter you can also report the following street cleaning issues.

  • refuse spillage
  • oil and/or glass spillage
  • unswept leaves
  • flyposting on a public building
  • weeds in need of removal
  • discarded syringes
  • full or over flowing litter bins
  • pigeon droppings

If you feel your road is not swept satisfactorily, or you have any other comments or questions, please use the contact details below.

To find out more and to get involved follow the link to Keep Britain Tidy.

Contact information

Street services
F: 01582 546863
E: [email protected]

Call 01582 510333, Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm, except Wed, 10am-6pm to report a problem with a litter-bin or to request a new one.

Litter in a public place is unsightly, dangerous to animals, and an offence. The average fine for littering is around £95, but can be up to £2,500.

Litter ranges in size from a single sweet wrapper, to a bag full of rubbish. Please try to use a litter bin or take it home.

There are over 1,100 litter bins in Luton. Each bin is scheduled to be emptied at least weekly and some (for instance in the town centre) can be emptied hourly.

The litter bins can take bagged dog waste and litter.

Contact information

Street services
F: 01582 546863
E: [email protected]

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Street naming and numbering

We have a responsibility for street naming and allocation of numbers for all properties within the borough.

If you would like further information on street naming and numbering including how to apply online for a street name and number, click on the button below.

More information on street naming and numbering

Contact information

Data and Systems
Luton Borough Council
Town Hall
George Street
Luton
Bedfordshire
LU1 2BQ
T: 01582 546022
E: [email protected]

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© 2021 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ