Gulliksen v Pembrokeshire County Council: CA 11 Jul 2002

The claimant had tripped on a footpath on a housing estate. There was a depressed manhole cover on the footpath over which he tripped. The footpath had been constructed by Pembrokeshire County Council, who were both the local housing authority and the highway authority at the time of the path’s construction and at the time of the accident. The footpath was a highway, because it had become deemed to be dedicated as such by the time of the accident. At the trial in the County Court Judge Hickinbottom accepted the county council’s argument that the McGeown decision defeated any claim in negligence, but found for the claimant on the basis that the council had constructed the path; they were the highway authority; and that was sufficient to establish that they owed the claimant the statutory duty under s 41 of the 1980 Act. The local authority argued that it was not maintainable at public expense, and so they were not liable for the injury arising from its disrepair. It had formerly been maintainable under the 1959 Act.
Held: The purpose of section 36(1) was to make maintainable at public expense those highways which had been so maintainable under the earlier Act. Arguments in this case about the effect of 36(2)(a) were not to the point. The effect of the 1972 Act was to make the acts of local authorities unitary. The local authority was responsible.
Lord Woolf, Lord Chief Justice, Lord Justice Waller and Lord Justice Sedley
Times 22-Jul-2002, Gazette 12-Sep-2002, [2002] EWCA Civ 968, [2002] 3 WLR 1072, [2002] NPC 95, [2003] QB 123, [2002] 44 EG 172, [2002] 4 All ER 450, [2002] 3 EGLR 9, [2002] 29 EG 149, [2003] BLGR 152
Highways Act 1980 36(1), Highways Act 1959, Local Government Act 1972 2 3(1)
England and Wales
CitedGautret v Egerton 1867
A man fell to his death when crossing a bridge used with the consent and permission of the defendants by persons proceeding to and coming from the defendants’ docks.
Held: The claim by his widow against the bridge owner was dismissed.
CitedMcGeown v Northern Ireland Housing Executive HL 24-Jun-1994
The plaintiff lived with her husband in a house in a housing estate of which he was a tenant. Part of the land of the estate, in the ownership of the defendant housing authority, was crossed by footpaths, over which the public had acquired the right . .
Appeal fromGulliksen v Pembrokeshire County Council QBD 2002
Mr Gulliksen was walking on a footpath on a housing estate to the house of a friend. He had an accident at a depressed manhole cover on the footpath over which he tripped. The footpath had been constructed by Pembrokeshire County Council, who were . .

Cited by:
CitedBarlow v Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council CA 1-Jun-2020
Presumption of dedication dates back.
The claimant tripped over a tree root raising a path in the park. The court was now asked whether the pathway through a public park, but which was not a public right of way, was maintainable at public expense as a highway governed by the 1980 Act. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 August 2021; Ref: scu.174328