Big freeze is potential legal slip up

The basis for the powers and duties relating to highway maintenance in England and Wales is contained in the Highways Act 1980. Section 41 of the act refers the duty imposed on authorities "to maintain the highway" and "to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice". Section 151 refers to the requirement of authorities "to remove any obstruction of the highway resulting from the accumulation of snow or from the falling down of banks on the side of the highway or from any other cause". The author looks at the legal implications, particularly in the light of possible misunderstandings from lay people who mistakenly believe they have a case against the highway authority, when it can actually be proved the highway authority did in fact follow the law. The author looks at case law, examines the Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management and highlights contractual obligations. The ultimate aim of highway authorities' winter maintenance provision is to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of road users so that the traffic can keep moving.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01146969
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 24 2009 8:33AM