CHAPTER 69:02
PUBLIC ROADS

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   SECTION

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART I
ROADS AND ROAD RESERVES

   3.   Classification and vesting of roads

   4.   Main roads

   5.   Secondary roads

   5A.   Tertiary roads

   6.   District roads

   7.   Branch roads

   8.   Estate roads

   9.   Highway authorities in urban areas

   10.   Width of road reserves and effect of reservation

   11.   Care, maintenance and construction of roads

   12.   Control of points of access, structure, etc.

   13.   Opening of branch roads

   14.   Report and recommendations to be submitted to Minister

   15.   Branch roads may be designated secondary or district roads

   16.   Consideration and determination of application

   17.   Alterations to roads

   18.   Storm water from roads

   19.   Storm water from land adjoining

   20.   Powers of highway authority to control traffic

   21.   Liability of highway authorities and their staff

   22.   Power of highway authority to enter upon land for investigation

   23.   Temporary deviations

   24.   Power to control land for proposed roads

   25.   Reservation of land

   26.   Withdrawal or modification of control or reservation

   27.   Unauthorized acts on controlled or reserved land

   28.   Designation of new road and compensation

   29.   Power to take materials for roadworks

   30.   Highway authorities and employees may park vehicles, erect huts, etc., on private land

   31.   Contractors may exercise rights granted to highway authority

   32.   Power to undertake ancillary works

   33.   Provision of footpaths, cycle tracks, etc.

   34.   Ferries and pontoons

   35.   Provision of cattle grids

   36.   Prevention of damage, etc., to roads

   37.   Regulation of undertakers’ works

   38.   Execution of undertakers’ works

   39.   Undertakers to provide warning and safety precautions

   40.   Works at railway crossings

   41.   Removal of apparatus

   42.   Powers enjoyed by electricity undertakings

   43.   Limitation of time in which works may be executed

PART II
COMPENSATION

   44.   Assessment of compensation generally and for surface rights

   45.   Compensation for land which becomes public land

   46.   Matters to be taken into consideration in assessing compensation for alienated land

   47.   Claims for compensation

   48.   Procedure before compensation boards

   49.   Appeal to High Court

   50.   No further appeal

PART III
SUPPLEMENTARY AND TRANSITIONAL

   51.   How notices to be served

   52.   Obstruction of officers

   53.   General penalty for offences

   54.   Rules

   55.   Transitional

   56.   Saving

11 of 1962
51 of 1963
s. 181
32 of 1964
(N)
62 of 1966
1 of 1981
6 of 1989
26 of 1988
G.N. 38/1965
126/1965
137/1966
166/1967
234/1967
18/1987

An Act to Consolidate and Amend the Law relating to Public Roads and matters connected therewith

[1ST SEPTEMBER 1962]

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Public Roads Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   “agricultural officer” means the senior officer of the Government responsible for agricultural advisory services in any District, and includes any other person declared by the Minister for the time being responsible for agriculture by notice published in the Gazette to be an agricultural officer;

   “alternative land” in relation to customary land means land which, in accordance with customary law, can be made available to an occupier who suffers disturbance;

   “bicycle” shall include a tricycle;

   “carriageway” means that part of a road designed and constructed to be used for vehicular traffic or used or reasonably usable for the time being for that purpose, but shall not include a cycle track;

   “compensation board” means a compensation board constituted under section 47;

   “Deeds Registrar” means the Deeds Registrar appointed under the Deeds Registration Act;

   “Controller of Roads” includes any person to whom the Controller of Roads may delegate his powers under this Act, or a person who is acting with the authority of the Controller of Roads.

   “existing road” means a road over which the public exercised a right of way prior to the coming into force of this Act whether or not such road had been declared a public road under the Public Roads Ordinance, 1950 (now repealed) and includes all land declared to be a public road under such Ordinance;

   “footpath” means a portion of a road exclusive of the carriageway set aside for use solely by pedestrians;

   “highway authority” means the authority responsible for the construction, care and maintenance of any road or class of road in accordance with this Act;

   “improved land” means land whereon there is any improvement;

   “improvement” means any work on land which has increased the value of such land in comparison with land in a similar area covered with natural vegetation and includes clearing land for agricultural purposes, the erection, alteration or enlargement of buildings, the installation of electricity supply, the construction or improvement of a wall, road, bridge or permanent fence, planting a live hedge, contouring of land, land drainage and works of reclamation and irrigation, the making and improvement of water courses, the provision of water supply for agricultural or domestic purposes, the installation of fixed machinery, laying out and cultivating gardens, nurseries and orchards and the application to land of purchased manure (including artificial manure) to the extent to which such work has so increased the value of the land;

   “occupier” in relation to land means any person lawfully occupying such land;

   “owner” in relation to private land means a person (other than a mortgagee not in possession) entitled, with or without the consent of any other person to dispose of an interest in the land, and in relation to public or customary land means the Minister responsible for Land;

   “public road” means any road of a class described in section 3;

   “road” means a highway and includes any bridge, causeway, culvert, dam, ditch, drain, embankment, fence, ferry, ford, pontoon, guide post, mile post or other works in the line of such road, and includes an existing road and works in a road reserve constructed or maintained under section 18, but does not include any such works outside the limits of a road reserve;

   “road reserve” means any land reserved for use as a road under sections 10, 11, 17 or 28;

   “storm water” means all flow of water directly due to rainfall, before such water joins a stream;

   “stream” means a watercourse of natural origin wherein water flows either continuously or intermittently, whether or not such watercourse is dry during any period of the year and whether or not its conformation has been changed by artificial means, and includes swamps or marshes, whether forming the source or found upon the course of, or feeding such watercourse;

   “structure” includes—

   (a)   any building, pole, powerline, petrol pump, machinery, wall, plantation, fence or hedge and any other object which could in like manner cause an obstruction;

   (b)   any external alteration or addition to a structure;

   “surface rights” in relation to land in respect of which compensation is claimed means the rights of the claimant to any interest in the crops, structures and other improvements on the land and, in the case of agricultural land which is used by a highway authority for a temporary purpose or for taking materials and use of which is resumed by the owner or occupier or some person claiming through or under him, includes the difference between the value, for agricultural purposes, of the surface soil before such soil was affected by works or things authorized by this Act and the value for such purpose of the surface soil as it is when use is so resumed;

   “undertaker” means the authority, body or person by whom a statutory power to execute undertakers’ works is exercisable in the capacity in which that power is vested in them;

   “undertakers’ works” means works (including works executed or to be executed on behalf of the Government) for any purposes other than road purposes, being works of any of the following kinds, that is to say—

   (a)   placing apparatus, inspecting, maintaining, adjusting, repairing, altering or renewing apparatus, or changing the position of apparatus or removing it;

   (b)   breaking up or opening a road, for the purposes of works mentioned in paragraph (a), and tunnelling or boring under a road for those purposes, breaking up or opening a sewer, drain or tunnel for those purposes, and other works requisite for or incidental to those purposes, and shall include laying any pipeline, wire or cable on, over or under any road;

   “valuation date” in relation to the assessment of compensation for any property or interest therein means the date at which the value of the property or interest therein is to be assessed;

   “works” includes any pipe, tube, tunnel, permanent excavation, quarry, irrigation works, borehole or well, and any addition or alteration to such works.

PART I
ROADS AND ROAD RESERVES

3.   Classification and vesting of roads

   (1) The public roads of Malawi shall be classified as follows—

   (a)   main roads, being the inter-territorial roads defined as such under any law for the time being in force in Malawi, and the territorial main roads defined in section 4;

   (b)   secondary roads, as defined in section 5;

   (c)   tertiary roads as defined in section 5A;

   (d)   district roads, as defined in section 6;

   (e)   branch roads, as defined in section 7;

   (f)   estate roads, as defined in section 8.

   (2) The Minister may, by declaration published in the Gazette, designate any road to be a public road in accordance with the provisions and classifications of this Act. Upon designation as a public road, such road shall vest in the President as public land

   (3) All public roads shall be subject to such restrictions of user as may be prescribed.

4.   Main roads

   (1) Main roads shall be the roads so designated by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette.

   (2) In respect of all designated main roads in any area, including any City, Municipality or Township, the Controller of Roads shall be the highway authority, and all expenses incurred in the planning, designing, construction, care and maintenance of such roads shall be borne by the Government except as provided by the terms of any agreement entered into by the Government with any other government or organization.

   (3) Subject to section 9, in respect of designated main roads or portions thereof in any City, Municipality or Township, the highway authority shall be the Controller of Roads:

   Provided that any new construction, major improvements and maintenance activities affecting these roads shall be communicated to the City Council, Municipal Council or Town Council concerned.

5.   Secondary roads

   (1) Secondary roads shall be those so designated by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette.

   (2) The highway authority in respect of all designated secondary roads in any area, including any City, Municipality or Township, shall be the Controller of Roads, or such other person as the Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette, appoint, and all expenses incurred in planning, designing, construction, care and maintenance of such secondary roads shall be borne by the Government.

   (3) Subject to section 9, in respect of designated secondary roads or portions thereof in any City, Municipality or Township, the highway authority shall be the Controller of Roads:

   Provided that any new construction, major improvements and maintenance activities affecting these roads shall be communicated to the City Council, Municipal Council or Town Council concerned.

5A.   Tertiary roads

   (1) Tertiary roads shall be those designated by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette.

   (2) The highway authority in respect of all designated tertiary roads in any area, including any City, Municipality or Township, shall be the Controller of Roads or such other person as the Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette, appoint, and all expenses incurred in planning, designing, construction, care and maintenance of such tertiary roads shall be borne by the Government.

   (3) Subject to section 9, in respect of designated tertiary roads or portions thereof in any City, Municipality or Township, the highway authority shall be the Controller of Roads:

   Provided that any new construction, major improvements and maintenance activities affecting these roads shall be communicated to the City Council, Municipal Council or Town Council concerned.

6.   District roads

   (1) District roads shall be those roads in any area including any City, Municipal or Township so designated by the Minister, by notice published in the Gazette, after consultation with the District Council concerned.

   (2) In respect of district roads the highway authority shall be the District Council of the District in which the road is situated or such other person as the Minister may appoint by notice published in the Gazette.

   (3) The expenses of planning, designing, construction, care and maintenance of district roads shall be borne by the highway authority.

   (4) A highway authority shall be eligible to receive from the Government such grant towards the cost of construction, care and maintenance of district roads for which it is the highway authority, as the Minister may from time to time determine.

7.   Branch roads

   (1) Branch roads shall be those roads in any area including any City, Municipality or Township so designated by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette.

   (2) The Minister shall have power to designate branch roads on his own motion or after application duly made under section 13.

   (3) The Minister shall have power by notice published in the Gazette to appoint a highway authority in respect of all or any branch roads.

   (4) It shall be competent for the Minister in designating any branch road to order whether and in what proportion the cost of construction, care and maintenance of the road shall be borne by the owners of property served by the road or persons who obtain benefit from the existence of the road or how otherwise such cost shall be borne. Where such costs or any part of them are ordered to be borne by any person other than the highway authority concerned the costs shall be paid by such person to the highway authority in accordance with such regulations as may be made by the Minister and may be recovered by the highway authority as a civil debt.

   (5) Any order made under subsection (4) may be varied by the Minister by a subsequent order.

8.   Estate roads

    (1) Estate roads shall be roads in any area including any City, Municipality or Township area provided for the purpose of internal access in any area being developed, whether by Government or otherwise, for building plots, farms, or other purposes, which are designated by the Minister as such by notice published in the Gazette.

   (2) The Minister may at any time, by notice published in the Gazette, appoint a highway authority in respect of an estate road subject to such regulations, if any ,as may be made under subsection (3).

    (3) The Minister may, after consulting the Minister for the time being responsible for Town and Country Planning, make regulations for the designation, provision, planning, designing, construction, care and maintenance of estate roads in any area which is in course of development other than a Planning Area declared under the Town and Country Planning Act

   (4) The cost of construction, care and maintenance of estate roads shall be borne by the person responsible for the development:

   Provided that the Minister may order that, in any case, such costs or any part thereof shall be borne by the owners or occupiers of the land in the area being developed in such proportions as may be specified in the order and any such costs or proportion thereof shall be recoverable by the highway authority from the person or persons liable as a civil debt.

9.   Highway authorities in urban areas

   (1) In respect of any public road other than a designated road in any City, Municipality or Township, the City Council or Municipal Council or Town Council shall be the highway authority and shall be responsible for the planning, designing, construction, care and maintenance of the road—

   (a)   in respect of main roads, the cost of construction, care and maintenance shall be borne in accordance with section 4(3);

   (b)   in respect of secondary roads, the Municipal Council or Town Council shall be eligible to receive from the Government such grant towards the costs of construction, care and maintenance thereof as the Minister may from time to time determine.

   (2) A City Council, Municipal Council or Town Council shall not exercise any of the powers conferred on a highway authority by section 11 (1) (a) or (c), section 17 (2), section 18, section 30 or section 33 (2).

   (3) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as taking away any powers conferred by any other law on a City Council, Municipal Council, Town Council or District Council in respect of the construction, care and maintenance of roads within its area of jurisdiction.

10.   Width of road reserves and effect of reservation

   (1) The Minister shall have power to declare by notice published in the Gazette the width (not exceeding 60 metres) of any road reserve or class or classes of road reserve outside any City, Municipality or Township or any Planning Area declared under the Town and Country Planning Act. Except as otherwise declared, the reserve width shall be—

   (a)   for a main road, 60 metres;

   (b)   for a secondary road, 36 metres;

   (c)   for a district road, 36 metres;

   (d)   for branch roads and estate roads, 18 metres.

   (2) The centre line of the reserve width for a road shall in every case lie down the centre line of the carriageway of the road unless the Minister shall in any case otherwise direct by notice published in the Gazette.

   (3) Where any existing road is designated as a public road under section 3 the land included within the boundaries of the width described in the preceding subsections of this section which was not previously a road shall be reserved for use as a road and become a road reserve but no compensation shall be payable in respect of such reservation. Subject to subsection (4) a highway authority may at any time enter upon land comprised in any road reserve for the purpose of exercising any powers conferred on it by this Act.

   (4) If a highway authority shall desire to carry out any works on land in a road reserve in a manner likely to cause damage to any structure on such land it shall give one month’s prior notice to the owner or occupier thereof of its intention:

   Provided that in any case in which the structure consists of a building the length of notice required shall be three months.

   (5) The owner or occupier of land in a road reserve who suffers damage as a result of works carried out on such land by a highway authority shall be entitled to compensation in respect of such damage in accordance with Part II. The time for making a claim to the highway authority under this subsection shall be within three months after suffering the damage, or such extended time as the highway authority may allow.

   (6) No person shall do any of the following acts or things on land in a road reserve without the consent in writing of the highway authority—

   (a)   erect or alter any structure;

   (b)   plant any tree or bush; or

   (c)   prepare for cultivation any land which was not, when the land became road reserve, prepared for cultivation:

   Provided that notwithstanding such consent, neither the person doing such act or thing nor any person who may acquire any interest in the land in question shall be entitled to compensation for the value of what has been done if later the land is required for road use:

   Provided further that in respect of paragraph (a) the highway authority shall consult with and have regard to the views of the Commissioner for Town and Country Planning before granting such consent.

11.   Care, maintenance and construction of roads

   (1) Subject to section 9, a highway authority shall have power—

   (a)   for the purposes and subject to this Act, to enter upon any land and there to carry out any works and exercise any powers in relation to any public road for which it is responsible or proposed public road to be concerned therewith;

   (b)   to restrict the use of any public road or part thereof for which it is responsible and to use for such purpose traffic signs or other notices in accordance with this Act, or any other law. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, such restrictions may prohibit the entry of a vehicle on a cycle track or footpath, control the use of bicycles or the movement of animals on any carriageway or footpath or forbid any person to proceed on foot along any part of any road;

   (c)   subject to the special or general directions of the Minister and subject to payment of compensation in accordance with Part II, to widen or divert any public road within the limits of a road reserve and to require the removal of any tree or structure on a road reserve and, if the owner of any such tree or structure fails to remove the same after being required to do so, power to remove the obstruction.

   (2) Every highway authority shall have jurisdiction to the extent provided in this Act over those public roads for which it is appointed to be the highway authority and shall be liable to undertake the construction, alteration, care and maintenance of such roads:

   Provided that if any highway authority shall fail to maintain any part of any public road for the maintenance of which it is responsible the Minister may, after giving reasonable notice to such highway authority, arrange for the works which he considers necessary for making good such failure, to be carried out in such manner as he shall direct.

   (3) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, liability to undertake the construction, alteration, care and maintenance of a public road includes liability to pay all the costs incurred in such construction, alteration, care and maintenance.

   (4) If any road is widened or diverted under subsection (1) (c) the land occupied by the widened or diverted road shall vest in the President as public land and shall be deemed to have been declared public land; and thereupon the land bordering the road on each side within a distance from the centre line of the portion of the road which has a new alignment of half the designated width of the road reserve, shall become road reserve without declaration or other formality. The highway authority shall prepare and register such plans, if any, relating to the widening or deviation as may be prescribed in rules made under section 25 (4).

   (5) Land which ceases to be part of a public road as a result of work effected in accordance with subsection 1 (c) shall vest in the owner of the adjoining land upon the terms and conditions upon which he holds such land without formal transfer, unless such land was, immediately before becoming a public road, customary land.

12.   Control points of access, structures, etc.

   (1) The Minister shall have power to make regulations to control the number, location and design of points of access to all main and secondary roads, and to require the owners of buildings and property to provide service roads to give access to such buildings or property, and to prohibit the erection of any buildings with direct frontage on to any road or road reserve.

   (2) Any powers conferred on the Controller of Roads or on any other person by regulations made under subsection (1) may only be exercised after consultation with the Commissioner for Town and Country Planning.

13.   Opening of branch roads

   (1) Occupiers of land adjoining or served by or contributing to the cost of construction, care and maintenance of any road or proposed road outside a Municipality or Township may apply to the Minister, through a highway authority responsible for the public road referred to in subsection (1) (a) (i) to have such road designated a branch road. In such case the following provisions shall be observed and shall be applicable—

   (a)   every application must be in writing and shall specify—

      (i)   the point on a public road from which the branch road is required;

      (ii)   the land through or over which it is proposed that a road shall be designated and the names of the owners or occupiers thereof;

      (iii)   the proposed terminal point of the road;

      (iv)   how the expenses of construction, care and maintenance are proposed to be defrayed;

   (b)   notice shall be given by the applicants in one newspaper published or circulating in the District in which the road in question is situate or proposed.

   (2) The notice prescribed in subsection (1) shall contain adequate details of the application and call upon any person objecting thereto to lodge at the office of the highway authority within three months after the date of the publication of such notice his objections thereto in writing.

14.   Report and recommendations to be submitted to Minister

   (1) The highway authority, on receiving any such application, may require the applicants to deposit such sum of money as may appear to be necessary for the purpose of defraying the expenses of causing the road or proposed road to be inspected by a competent person or persons and a report thereon made for submission to the Minister.

   (2) After considering any such application and any objection thereto under section 13, and on making such further inquiries as it may deem fit, the highway authority shall make a report and recommendations on the matter to the Minister.

   (3) If upon the consideration of any such report and recommendations it shall appear to the Minister that the application is one which shall be approved, he may, by notice published in the Gazette, designate such a road to be a branch road and he may, in any event, determine whether the whole or any part of the expense incurred in connexion with the application, including obtaining the report and, if the application is approved, causing the road to be designated, should be paid and borne by the applicants, and how the deposit shall be disposed of.

15.   Branch roads may be designated secondary or district roads

   (1) The occupiers of any land which abuts upon a branch road outside a Municipality or Township or persons who contribute to the cost of maintenance of such a branch road may apply in writing to the Minister, through the highway authority concerned, to have such branch road designated a secondary or district road.

   (2) Notice shall be given by the applicants, in one newspaper published or circulating in the District through which such road runs, that such application has been or will be made.

   (3) Such notice shall describe the proposal and shall call upon any person objecting thereto to lodge at the office of the highway authority concerned, within three months after the date of the publication of such notice, his objections thereto in writing.

16.   Consideration and determination of application

   (1) The highway authority, on receiving any such application, may require the applicants to deposit such sum of money as may be necessary for the purpose of defraying the expense of causing the proposed road to be inspected by a competent person or persons and a report thereon made for submission to the Minister, and of the designation of the road if approved.

   (2) After considering any such application and any objection thereto made under section 15, and after making such further inquiries as it may deem fit, the highway authority shall make a report and recommendations on the matter to the Minister.

   (3) If after consideration of any such report and recommendations it shall appear to the Minister that the application is one which should be approved, he may, by notice published in the Gazette, designate such road a secondary or district road, and may, in any event, determine whether the whole or any part of the expenses incurred in connexion with the application including obtaining the report and, if the application is approved, in causing the road to be designated, should be borne by the applicants, and how the deposit shall be disposed of.

17.   Alterations to roads

   (1) The Minister may at any time, by notice published in the Gazette, alter the classification of any public road or any part thereof and the width of any road reserve and sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10 shall thereupon apply to such road or part thereof or road reserve according to the terms of such notice.

   (2) In any case in which a highway authority proposes to divert the permanent alignment of a road beyond the limits of a road reserve, sections 22 to 28 inclusive shall, subject to section 9, apply to such proposal.

   (3) In any case in which a highway authority desires to cease to be responsible for the construction, care and maintenance of any road or any part thereof, or in which, as a result of the deviation of the permanent alignment of any road, a highway authority desires to close any road for which it is responsible or any part thereof, or in any other case whatsoever in which it appears to the Minister desirable, for any reason, that any road shall cease to be a public road, the highway authority responsible for such road may cause an advertisement to be published in the Gazette and in one newspaper, circulating in the area concerned, giving particulars of the proposal and clearly describing the road sought to be affected.

   (4) The notice prescribed in subsection (3) shall call upon any person objecting to the proposal to lodge at the office of the highway authority concerned, within one month after the date of publication of such notice, his objections thereto in writing. A copy of the notice shall also be posted, for general information, at some conspicuous place outside the office of the District Council of the District in which the road is situated.

   (5) The highway authority shall consider and notify the Minister of any such objections and shall make recommendations to him.

   (6) After considering any such objections and the recommendations of the highway authority the Minister may, after registration of such plans, if any, as are required under section 25 (4) to be registered, by notice published in the same manner, declare that the proposal, of which notice has been so given, is to be carried out.

   (7) In any case in which the proposal is that after the publication of the notice referred to in subsection (6) the road or part thereof may continue to be used as a private road, the Minister may by such notice declare that such road or part thereof shall cease to be a public road and thereupon the road or part thereof, unless immediately prior to becoming a public road it was customary land, shall vest as a private road in the owners (who may, if the Minister thinks fit, be described in such notice) of the land adjoining the road or part thereof and, if it was customary land, shall be dealt with in accordance with the Land Act and, in either case, the highway authority shall cease to be responsible for the construction, care and maintenance thereof.

   (8) In any case in which the proposal is that the public shall cease, after the publication of the notice referred to in subsection (6), to have the right to use the road or part thereof the Minister may, by such notice, declare that the road or part thereof shall be closed to use by the public, and thereupon the road or part thereof shall cease to be a public road and the land on which it was constructed may be disposed of or dealt with in any manner in which public land may properly be disposed of or dealt with.

18.   Storm water from roads

   (1) A highway authority may construct and keep open and clean ditches, drains, culverts and other works for the draining, protection, preservation, improvement, repair, construction or diversion of any road in, through, under or over land adjoining or near a road or road reserve and compensation shall be paid by the highway authority to the owner or occupier of improved land in respect of destruction of or damage to surface rights thereof by such works in accordance with Part II. The valuation date shall be the date of entry on to the land and any claim for compensation shall be made within three months after the act, matter or thing has been done in respect of which compensation is claimed.

   (2) Storm water flowing from any road or from any such ditch, drain, culvert or other work as is mentioned in subsection (1) may, subject to subsections (3) and (4), be discharged by the highway authority on to any land adjoining or near a road or road reserve.

   (3) Prior to carrying out any work which is liable to discharge storm water on to land adjoining or near a road or road reserve the highway authority responsible for the construction shall consult the owner of the land likely to be affected and, so far as possible, agree a suitable place for the discharge of the water. If no agreement can be reached the matter shall be referred to an agricultural officer who shall advise on a suitable place, and the highway authority shall act according to that advice.

   (4) If the storm water is not caused to discharge into a stream or other proper outlet the highway authority shall pay to the owner or occupier of the land on to which the water is discharged, compensation in respect of the cost of the works reasonably necessary to be done by such owner or occupier to prevent any damage likely to be caused by such storm water. The highway authority shall not be liable otherwise in respect of the consequences of such discharge. If no agreement can be reached as to what works are reasonably necessary to be done by the owner or occupier the matter shall be referred to an agricultural officer for advice and the owner and occupier of the land and the highway authority shall act according to that advice.

19.   Storm water from land adjoining

   (1) If any owner or occupier of land adjoining or near any public road has constructed drains or contour ridges for the purpose of improving or protecting his property, he shall not cause or permit storm water to discharge from such drains or contour ridges on to any public road or into any existing road drain beside or under any public road without the permission of the highway authority concerned.

   (2) In the event of any application for a permit under subsection (1), the highway authority concerned shall not grant permission unless the applicant agrees to pay the expenses of any additional drain or enlargement or alteration of any existing road drain which is considered necessary by such highway authority.

   (3) In the event of the permission being refused or of any dispute as to the necessity for such additional drain or enlargement or alteration of drains arising, the matter shall be referred to the Minister for decision after consultation with the Minister charged with responsibility for Agriculture.

   (4) Any person failing to comply with this section shall be guilty of an offence.

20.   Powers of highway authority to control traffic

   (1) Subject to this section, where a highway authority is satisfied that, by reason of works of repair or construction being required or being in progress on or near a public road for the maintenance of which it is responsible, such public road should be prohibited to traffic or to traffic of a particular classification or description, or the use of such road should be restricted in any way, such highway authority may, by order, prohibit or restrict the use of such road, or any part thereof in such manner as may be specified in the order, and shall in such order direct the attention of such traffic as may be affected by such order to any alternative route which may be available.

   (2) A highway authority shall, not less than fourteen days before making an order under subsection (1), cause notice of its intention to make such order to be published in the Gazette and shall also, at least seven days before the date upon which such order comes into force, cause it to be published in like manner. Every such notice shall contain a statement of the effects of the order and a description of the alternative route or routes, if any, available for traffic:

   Provided that in any case where the highway authority concerned is satisfied that, owing to the likelihood of danger to the public or serious damage to the road, it is necessary to prohibit or restrict the use of such road forthwith, it may make any order under subsection (1) without publication under this subsection.

   (3) So long as any order made under this section is in force all reasonable steps shall be taken by the highway authority to keep posted, in a conspicuous manner, at each end of the part of the road to which the order relates and at the points at which it is necessary for vehicles to diverge from such road, a notice stating the effect of the order and describing the alternative route or routes, if any, available for traffic and the diversion shall so far as reasonably possible, at all times be clearly indicated to traffic using it by means of suitable traffic signs.

   (4) In addition to the powers conferred upon it by subsections (1) and (2), a highway authority may at any time by means of suitable barriers close or restrict the use of all or any part of any road within its jurisdiction for the purposes of repair or reconstruction:

   Provided that—

   (a)   subject to section 23, wherever possible a deviation for the passage of traffic shall be provided within or adjacent to the road reserve concerned;

   (b)   all reasonable steps shall be taken to display adequate traffic signs in accordance with the Road Traffic Act giving reasonable warning to traffic using the road of any such closure or restriction.

   (5) Any person who uses or permits the movement or use of any animal or vehicle on any part of any road in contravention of any order issued by a highway authority under this section shall be guilty of an offence.

21.   Liability of highway authorities and their staff

   (1) No matter or thing done or omitted to be done and no contract entered into by a highway authority and no matter or thing done or omitted to be done by any officer or servant or other person acting under the direction of such authority shall, if the matter or thing was done or omitted to be done or the contract was entered into bona fide in pursuance of the duties of the authority in respect of any road, subject any servant or agent of the highway authority to any action, liability, claim or demand whatsoever and any expense incurred by any such servant or agent shall, in connection with any such action, claim or demand, be paid by the authority out of its funds.

   (2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be deemed to debar a suit where any act or omission has been occasioned by such negligence on the part of the authority, its officers or servants as would create liability under any other law:

   Provided that the liability of a highway authority under any law in respect of any injury, damage or loss which may accrue to any person or property through the failure of any public road to sustain any vehicle shall be limited to liability for physical damage to such person or property caused by such failure.

   (a)   for a main road, 60 metres;

   (b)   for a secondary road, 36 metres;

   (c)   for a tertiary road, 36 metres;

   (d)   for a district road, 36 metres; and

   (e)   for branch roads and estate roads, 18 metres.

   (2) The centre line of the reserve width for a road shall in every case lie down the centre line of the carriageway of the road unless the Minister shall in any case otherwise direct by notice published in the Gazette.

22.   Power of highway authority to enter upon land for investigation

   (1) For the purpose of carrying out investigations in connexion with surveying or setting out the line or course of any proposed road a highway authority shall have power to authorize in writing any member or officer of the authority or other person to enter upon any land with such assistants, workmen, apparatus, instruments, vehicles and tools as may be considered necessary by the person so authorized.

   (2) No entry shall be made upon any land in accordance with subsection (1) unless prior notice has been given to the owner or occupier of the land concerned, nor during the hours of darkness.

   (3) Compensation shall be paid by the highway authority to the owner and occupier of the land for any damage to or destruction of surface rights on the land caused by the persons entering on such land in pursuance of the powers conferred by this section. Such compensation shall be assessed in accordance with Part II. No other compensation shall be payable in respect of any entry made pursuant to this section. The valuation date shall be the date when notice of intention to enter was given. The time for making any such claim shall be within three months from the date when the damage or destruction was caused.

23.   Temporary deviations

   (1) For the purpose of facilitating the construction, repair or maintenance of any public road a highway authority may, after giving prior notice of its intention to the owner or occupier of the land, enter upon any land and construct and maintain thereon temporary deviations of the road:

   Provided that—

   (a)   no such deviation shall be constructed on improved land without the approval of the Minister or the concurrence of the owner or occupier of the land;

   (b)   compensation shall be paid by the highway authority to the owner and occupier of improved land affected for any damage to or destruction of surface rights on such land caused by any entry and acts authorized under the provisions of this section. Such compensation shall be assessed in accordance with Part II; but no other compensation shall be payable in respect of such entry or acts. The valuation date shall be the date when notice of intention to enter was given. The time for making a claim for such compensation shall be within three months from the date when the damage or destruction was caused.

   (2) Where a highway authority has exercised any power under this section, it shall, when the deviation is no longer required for the purpose for which it was constructed make good the land affected thereby to the extent necessary to prevent soil erosion.

24.   Power to control land for proposed roads

   (1) If, during any investigation which is being made by a highway authority for the purpose of determining the line or course of any proposed road, the Minister has reason to believe that any person is doing or intending to do any act or thing likely or calculated to interfere with the proposed road, he may, in writing, request such person to cease or refrain from doing such act or thing.

   (2) If any such person fails or refuses to comply with a request made under subsection (1), the Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette, declare such land as he considers proper in relation to the proposed road to be controlled for road purposes. Such notice shall specify the owners or occupiers of the land and shall describe the area or areas so controlled.

   (3) Publication of a notice in accordance with subsection (2) shall have the effect of prohibiting any activity whatsoever on the land controlled other than activity which the Minister or the highway authority may, after consulting the Minister for the time being responsible for the administration of the Town and Country Planning Act, authorize in writing. In giving such authority the Minister or highway authority may impose any conditions.

   (4) A control effected under the provisions of this section shall lapse after the expiration of twelve months except to the extent that it is continued as to any part of the land affected by a reservation effected under section 25.

   (5) As soon as possible after publication of a notice under subsection (2) the highway authority carrying out the investigation shall lodge with the Deeds Registrar two copies of a plan or plans showing the boundaries of the land affected by the notice.

   (6) No person shall be entitled as of right to any compensation in respect of any loss or damage suffered by reason of the exercise by the Minister of any of the powers conferred upon him by this section.

25.   Reservation of and

   (1) As soon as the course of any proposed road has been demarcated, the Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette and in a newspaper circulating in the District concerned, reserve a strip of land not exceeding 60 metres wide along such course and shall notify such reservation in writing by registered post or by delivery to the individual owners or occupiers of the land so reserved. Every such notice shall include a list of the properties affected by the reservation and shall specify the office at which plans showing the reserved strip of land may be inspected.

   (2) Publication of a notice under this section shall have the effect of—

   (a)   reserving the strip of land described in such notice for road purposes and authorizing the construction of a road thereon;

   (b)   prohibiting upon the land so reserved any activity which would, if the land were road reserve, be contrary to section 10, 19 or 36:

   Provided that the Minister may permit such limited use of the land as he may determine, subject to such conditions as he may impose in granting that permission;

   (c)   cancelling any control effected under section 24 of land not included in such notice.

   (3) As soon as possible after any land has been reserved under this section, the highway authority shall, subject to subsection (4), lodge with the Commissioner for Surveys and the Deeds Registrar one copy of plans showing the course of the proposed road.

   (4) The Minister, after consultation with the Minister responsible for Lands and Surveys, may make rules regarding the scale and nature of such plans and any other plans referred to in this Act and the registration and inspection thereof. Such rules may include provisions dispensing with the necessity for plans in approved cases relating to the widening or deviation of a road under section 11, to the deviation of the permanent alignment of a road under section 17, or to the variations mentioned in subsection (6).

   (5) The registration of such reservation shall not debar the owner of any land affected from transferring or otherwise dealing with such land, but the assessment of compensation shall not be affected or influenced in any way by such dealing.

   (6) In any case in which, during construction of the proposed road, any variation in the position of the road is found necessary or desirable fresh plans shall, before designation of the road under section 28, be prepared and lodged in accordance with subsection (3) showing the true position of the road as completed, and compensation shall be adjusted according to the loss or damage actually suffered.

26.   Withdrawal or modification of control or reservation

   The Minister may at any time withdraw or modify any control or reservation made under section 24 or section 25 by giving notice in the Gazette and by notifying the Deeds Registrar and, if plans have been lodged with him, the Commissioner for Surveys and any owner or occupier of land affected of such withdrawal or modification.

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