Baxter v Stockton-on-Tees Corporation: 1959

The court was asked to set out the responsibilities of the local authority as highway authority for any failure to construct, maintain and provide signage on its roads: ‘As to the hypothetical case against the county council, there is, as we have said, authority for the proposition that a highway authority constructing a road for the public use under statutory powers owes a duty to the public to take reasonable care to construct the road properly, so that it will be reasonably safe for the purposes for which it is intended to be used’ and ‘It would not have sufficed for the purposes of a charge of negligence against the county council merely to show that the system of traffic signs or the lighting arrangements might have been improved upon.’


Jenkins LJ


[1959] 1 QB 441


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedGreat North Eastern Railway Limited v Hart and Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions and Network Rail Infrastructure Limited QBD 30-Oct-2003
A driver had crashed through a barrier before a bridge, and descended into the path of a train. Ten people died. He now sought a contribution order against the Secretary of State for the condition of the barrier which was said to be faulty.
CitedNational Grid Gas Plc, Regina (on the Application of) v The Environment Agency Admn 17-May-2006
The claimant sought a judicial review of the decision to hold them responsible for necessary works of remediation. They were statutory successors to British Gas Corporation.
Held: The legislation clearly attempted to hold the contaminator . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.187293