Court confirms Council’s highways repair plan gone to ‘pot’!


The case was brought by an injured jogger who hurt himself when he fell over a pothole

Author: Jason Williams
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 5 years old.

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The Court of Appeal has (albeit narrowly) ruled that a local council did not act quickly enough in repairing a pothole – even though it did so the next working day.

The case was brought by an injured jogger who hurt himself when he fell over a pothole one Saturday evening in January (some years previously).

The council had been notified of the pothole by a member of the public at 4.20pm the Friday before.  The highways inspector first saw the complaint the following Monday. It was repaired that same day.

The jogger complained that the council had failed in its duty of care to repair the pothole within a reasonable timescale following notification and it was not acceptable for it to have been unattended to over the weekend.  The council defended itself by saying that it had a statutory defence under the Highways Act that it had repaired the pothole within a reasonable time period.

The jogger initially lost his case.  On appeal he won.  And this Court of Appeal decision was the result of the council’s further challenge.

By a majority decision the Court of Appeal ruled that they should have done more to ensure that the pothole was repaired sooner.

As one of the judges disagreed with the decision it will be interesting to know if the Council further appeals to the Supreme Court. 

One can only imagine the amount of tax-payers’ money that has been spent in defending this case.

Jason Williams

Legal Advisor

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