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Wilkinson lives on in Crawley! - Ian Pennock, Park Lane Plowden Chambers

16/02/17. The case of Wilkinson-v-City of York Council [2011] EWCA Civ 207 has rightly caused highway authorities difficulties in highway cases because;

      1. It not only made a lack of resources irrelevant in considering a highway authority’s section 58 defence. But also;

      2. Endorsed the defendant highway authorities very own ‘National Code of Practice’ as a benchmark in considering whether or not they have exercised ‘reasonable care’ for the purposes of section 58 and by which they can be ‘hoisted by their own petard.’ As well as;

      3. Re-inforcing the point that the correct interpretation of the interplay between sections 41 and 58 of the Highways Act 1980 is that the highway authority has either exercised ‘reasonable care’ (within the meaning of section 58) or not and it is not a defence to say that lack of ‘reasonable care’ did not cause or contribute to the Claimant’s accident.

Highway authorities continue to try and hide their ‘lack of resources’ as a reason for failing to exercise reasonable care (for the purposes of section 58) in increasingly imaginative ways (see, for example, the proposed new National Code of Practice) and erroneously attempt to argue that the case of TR v Devon [2013] EWCA Civ 418 means the utility of the National Code of Practice, in the courts consideration of their section 58 defence, is greatly diminished. They either do not understand the third point (or pretend not to understand it.)

The recent case of Crawley-v-Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council [2017] EWCA Civ 36, was handed down on 2nd February 2017. Other than the fact that it was not...

Image cc flickr.com/photos/tranbc/6977576859/

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