Regina v Inhabitants of High Halden: 1859


The court considered the liability of the parish for injury arising from a failure to repair the road. The road was ‘an old soft road formed of Weald of Kent clay, and had never been repaired with hard substances’. The evidence was that in wet weather and in the winter months it was ‘very bad, soft and in an impassable state’ with deep ruts which ‘formed in fact the watercourses of the road’. Blackburn J directed the jury that the parish was not bound to make the road hard ‘. . but they were bound in some way, by stone or other hard substances to repair the road ; but they were bound in some way, by stone or other hard substances, if necessary, to put the road in such repair so as to be reasonably passable for the ordinary traffic of the neighbourhood at all seasons of the year.’ A guilty verdict was returned.

Blackburn J
26 Digest (Repl) 383, (1859) 1 F and F 678, [1860] EngR 93, (1860) 175 ER 903
Cited by:
CitedBurnside and Another v Emerson and Others CA 1968
The plaintiffs were injured in a road accident caused by flooding. They sued the executors of the deceased driver whose car spun out of control into the path of their own car, and also the highway authority, who had installed a proper system of . .
CitedHaydon v Kent County Council CA 1978
Impacted snow and ice had built up on a steep, narrow, made-up footpath from Monday to Thursday during a short wintry spell. The plaintiff slipped and broke her ankle. The highway authority operated a system of priorities. Their resources were fully . .
CitedDepartment for Transport, Environment and the Regions v Mott Macdonald Ltd and others CA 27-Jul-2006
Claims arose from accidents caused by standing water on roadway surfaces after drains had not been cleared by the defendants over a long period of time. The Department appealed a decision giving it responsibility under a breach of statutory duty . .
CitedGriffiths v Liverpool Corporation CA 1967
The Highways Act of 1961 had enlarged the duty of the highway authority and made it a general duty to take reasonable care to secure that the highway was not dangerous to traffic.
As to the effect of the 1961 Act, Diplock LJ said: ‘The duty at . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Torts – Other, Road Traffic

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.244626