Roads: Snow and Ice

Transport written question – answered on 25th January 2010.

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Photo of Stewart Jackson Stewart Jackson Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what changes have been made to the requirements on local highways authorities to clear (a) roads and (b) pavements of snow and ice since 1997.

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Minister of State (Department for Transport)

Local highways authorities have a duty, under s41 of the Highways Act 1980 to maintain the highways in their charge, including footways. This duty had long been held to include keeping the highway serviceable in winter. However, in 2000 the House of Lords, in Goodes v . East Sussex CC ruled that the duty did not include an absolute requirement to clear snow and ice. The insertion in the 1980 Act, in 2003, of s41(1A) to specify that

"a highway authority are under a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice" established the present position.

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