Roe v Sheffield City Council and others: CA 17 Jan 2003

The claimant sought damages after his car was involved in an accident when a wheel struck a part of a tramway standing proud of the road surface. The defendant argued that they were excused liability by the 1988 Act, incorporating the effects of the 1870 Act.
Held: The 1988 Act did not provide a full statement of the defendant’s liability so as to exclude their liability under the 1980 Act. The standard of maintenance was defined by reference to safety. A small difference may be safe, but the rail stood sufficiently proud of the roadway to lift the tyre from the roadway and break its grip. The 1988 Act shifted responsibility to the tramway operator within the initial 12 months of operation.


Pill, Sedley, Hale LJJ


Times 24-Jan-2003, [2003] EWCA Civ 1, [2004] QB 653, [2003] BLGR 389, [2003] 2 WLR 848




Tramways Act 1870 25 28, South Yorkshire Light Rail Transit Act 1988, Highways Act 1980 41


England and Wales


CitedDublin United Tramways Co Ltd v Martin Fitzgerald HL 1903
The plaintiff sued when his horse slipped on tramlines in the road and fell. Stone setts or paving between the rails of a tramway in Grafton Street, Dublin, had become slippery owing to the grit or roughness of setts being worn away. In that state, . .
CitedSimon v Islington Borough Council CA 1943
A cyclist was killed because of the dangerous condition of an abandoned tramway. A rail and the adjoining stone setts were not level with each other. The London Passenger Transport Board had given the highway authority the notice required by statute . .
CitedGoodes v East Sussex County Council HL 16-Jun-2000
The claimant was driving along a road. He skidded on ice, crashed and was severely injured. He claimed damages saying that the Highway authority had failed to ‘maintain’ the road.
Held: The statutory duty on a highway authority to keep a road . .

Cited by:

See AlsoRoe v Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire Light Rail Ltd, South Yorkshire Supertram Ltd, Balfour Beatty Power Construction Ltd CA 23-Mar-2004
. .
CitedMorrison Sports Ltd and Others v Scottish Power SC 28-Jul-2010
A fire caused substantial damage to buildings. It arose from a ‘shim’ placed in a fuse box which then overheated. The parties disputed whose employee had inserted the shim. The Act under which the Regulations had been made was repealed and replaced . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Transport, Local Government, Personal Injury

Updated: 06 June 2022; Ref: scu.178774