Hereford and Worcester County Council v Pick; 1 Apr 1995

References: (1995) 71 P & CR 231
Coram: Stuart-Smith LJ
The issue was whether a presumed dedication of a road as a public highway could result from twenty years or more of uninterrupted public use in breach of section 34(1) of the 1988 Act. The court was considering whether a footpath, alleged to have become a public highway for vehicles by presumed dedication, had been unlawfully obstructed.
Held: The user relied on for the presumed dedication would have constituted a public nuisance to pedestrians using the footpath and for that reason the user could not lead to a presumed dedication. ‘Public rights cannot be based on long use where the user is prohibited by statute.’
Statutes: Road Traffic Act 1988 34(1)
This case cites:

  • Cited – Hanning and Others -v- Top Deck Travel Group Ltd CA (Gazette 09-Jun-93, Times 06-May-93, [1993] NPC 73 CA, [1993] CLY 1821, [1994] P & C R 14)
    The owner of a common appealed a finding that the neighbouring land owner had acquired by prescription a right of way across the common to use a track for commercial vehicles (buses) to get to the property (the bus depot).
    Held: An easement . .
  • Cited – Robinson -v- Adair QBD (Times 02-Mar-95)
    The Truro Crown Court had allowed Mr Adair’s appeal against his conviction for obstructing a highway. The prosecutor appealed.
    Held: It had to be decided whether a particular road had become by presumed dedication a public highway. The use . .

This case is cited by:

  • Doubted in part – Bakewell Management Limited -v- Brandwood and others HL (House of Lords, [2004] UKHL 14, Bailii, Times 02-Apr-04, [2004] 2 WLR 955, [2004] 2 P & CR DG6, [2004] 15 EGCS 104, [2004] 2 All ER 305, [2004] RTR 26, [2004] 20 EG 168, [2004] 2 AC 519, [2004] NPC 53)
    Houses were built next to a common. Over many years the owners had driven over the common. The landowners appealed a decision that they could not acquire a right of way by prescription over the common because such use had been unlawful as a criminal . .