Risk of Ice does not put Local Authority in Breach of Highways Act

Insurance Article

05 September, 2017

Harrison v East Riding of Yorkshire Council

The claimant alleged that she was walking along a road when she came across water emerging from a drain and running alongside the road. Some of the water had frozen on the surface of the carriageway and the claimant slipped on the ice. The claimant contended that the ice had formed as a result of a defective gully.

Whilst it was noted that the gully was surcharging, the judge found that there was no defect with the gully and thereby the section 41(1) claim failed.

The claimant proceeded to argue that the local authority had breached section 41(1)(A) of the Highways Act 1980. The claimant maintained that the local authority was aware of the surcharging water; they had received complaints from members of the public and therefore should have acted to prevent ice formation in this area.

The Judge disagreed, the road was a minor road and did not fall within the defendant's gritting scheme. Whilst he agreed that there was potentially an increased risk of ice forming, the enhanced risk was not so exceptional as to justify gritting. The Council had warning of the risk but that is not the same as the risk being borne out. The Judge concluded that it cannot be reasonably practicable to expect the Council to respond to every complaint relating to the risk of ice forming.

Forbes comment

The key issue arising from this case is that a local authority is not automatically in breach of section 41(1)(a) Highways Act if they have failed to respond to a complaint relating to the potential risk of ice forming on the highway.

Highway authorities are only under a duty to ensure safe passage along the highway so far as is reasonably practicable. Although, it should be noted that each case will be decided on its own facts.

If you are looking for any more information with regards to our services view our Insurance section. You can also contact Nigel McCloy in our Insurance department via email or phone on 0113 386 2681. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Back

Insurance

05 Sep 2017

NEWS AND ARTICLES

Risk of Ice does not put Local Authority in Breach of Highways Act

The claimant alleged that she was walking along a road when she came across water emerging from a drain and…

Read the article

With 'extensive knowledge' that 'inspires confidence', the department at Forbes is led by managing partner Martin Crabtree.

2014 edition Legal 500

More clients

Forbes is "absolutely fantastic - nothing is too much trouble".

2011 edition Legal 500

More clients

The Team "Deliver a consistently high quality service across the board"

2010 Edition Chambers UK

More clients

It is easy to support organisations that I have complete confidence in. Excellent, fast, straight to the point work, no procrastination, which in turn means no racking up of fees.

Liability Operations Manager

More clients

During the ten years I have experienced with Forbes I have always without exception received a first class service.

Insurance Officer
Metropolitan Borough Council

More clients

You won the Tender based on talent and quality.

- report following successful tender for a Metropolitan Borough Council

More clients

I owe you and your colleagues a lot. I appreciate all the assistance you and Forbes have offered me both professionally and personally.

More clients

Make an enquiry