• Send us a message

    Fill in our form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible

    Please enter name
    Please enter your telephone number
    Please enter your email address
    Please let us know which of offices would most convenient for you?
    Please enter the details of your enquiry
    Please enter the verification code
    Send us a message
  • Services for you
  • Services for business

Potholes on Minor Roads Are a Fact of Life, Rules Court of Appeal

Local authorities are under a legal duty to repair potholes in the road, but a certain number will always be there as part and parcel of a less than perfect world. So the Court of Appeal observed as it dismissed a compensation claim by a cyclist who was seriously injured in an accident on a lonely mountain road.

The cyclist hit a pothole as he swerved to avoid a pile of manure in the road. He was thrown to the ground, suffering head and orthopaedic injuries and damaged teeth. He claimed that the hole amounted to a trap for road users and sued the local highway authority for up to £50,000 in damages. However, in rejecting his claim, a judge found that the hole did not constitute a foreseeable hazard.

Dismissing the cyclist's appeal against that decision, the Court noted that the presence of potholes on sparsely used and remote roads is simply a fact of life. The risk posed by the hole was of a low order and the cost of removing such minor defects across the country would be enormous. In those circumstances, the judge's decision represented a sensible balance between public and private interests.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.