0370 270 6000

Highway victory for a risk based approach

13 December 2017

Delivering a forward thinking judgment at Birmingham County Court on 11 December 2017, DDJ Mitchell dismissed the claim of a jogger who tripped in a pothole, commending the dynamic risk-based approach taken by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s highways inspector.

The claimant was jogging along a rural road when he ran into a puddle in a carriageway pothole between one and one and a half inches deep. The Neighbourhood Coordinator had identified the pothole for non-urgent repair at an earlier inspection as he did not consider it to be dangerous.

The judge agreed that the pothole was not dangerous within the meaning of Section 41 and found that there had been no breach of duty.

From October 2018 local authorities will be required to take a risk-based approach to highways inspections under the new Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure Code of Practice.

This excellent decision demonstrates that courts appear to already have one eye on the future Code and the risk based approach that highway authorities will be following from October 2018 next year.

Related opinions

Watch this space on breach of contract, vicarious liability and assumption of responsibility

The concept of Assumption of Responsibility is on many stakeholders’ minds at the moment following the Supreme Court decision in CN & GN v Poole.

View blog

Landlord and tenant inspections - getting the evidence right

In Rogerson v Bolsover District Council (2019) the Court of Appeal found against a local authority landlord pursuant to the Defective Premises Act 1972 following a finding of an inadequate inspection regime.

View blog

Reflecting on the standard of care owed by an injured child and their parent

Caine Steven John Ellis v Paul Kelly & Violet Ellis (2018) highlights the challenges and sensitivities in alleging fault on the part of a child and parent in circumstances where the primary cause of an accident rests with a third party.

View blog

Applying QOCS protection in a claim for personal injury and something else

In The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v Brown [2018], the High Court ruled that a Circuit Judge was wrong to automatically apply QOCS protection to a claim for misuse of data which also included a claim for personal injury.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up