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The Borough of Dudley has many miles of identified retaining wall whose purpose is to support the Highway network.

There are also many miles of retaining walls to which the ownership is unclear and, in these cases, each wall needs to be checked individually.


Responsibility for the retaining wall depends on who built it and for what purpose. Unless modern records are available to indicate definite responsibility, it is necessary to determine for whose enjoyment or benefit the wall was built.

Generally, the walls and fences that surround property and fields are erected and maintained by the land owner. They are erected to provide security, privacy and to mark boundaries between different landowners.

  • Retaining walls supporting the highway. As the local highway authority we are usually liable to maintain the walls which are beneath the level of the highway and are necessary to support the highway. The usual exemption would be where a wall has been built for the benefit of the adjoining landowners. 

  • Walls retaining land above the highway. These walls are normally the responsibility of the adjoining landowner.

  • Boundary Walls. Responsibility for keeping these in good order normally resides with the adjoining landowner.

  • Parapet Walls (Edge Protection) on Bridges. These walls invariably form part of the bridge or wall that supports them, so responsibility lies with the owner of the rest of the structure.

Report a problem with a retaining Wall

If you have any concerns regarding a retaining wall, please contact us using the details below.

Please provide the following information:

  • Your name and telephone number, in case we need to contact you
  • Structure type, such as subway, retaining wall, railway bridge
  • Location such as town/village and road/street name
  • Incident type/cause such as vehicular, vandalism, water flow
  • Severity/nature such as road blocked, debris, cracks.

What happens next?

We will assess the severity and assign an inspector. We will make the site safe and respond in accordance with the inspector’s recommendations.

If we are not responsible for this structure we will pass the report to the appropriate owner.