Improving highways claims defensibility: Well-Managed Highways Infrastructure

04 Nov 2016

The new streamlined highways Code of Practice is nearly a week old. 

As the dust settles on the significant changes set out within the Code our thoughts turn to what actions are required prior to implementation on 1 November 2018 and the landscape for highways claims defensibility once the Code has been implemented.

Well-Managed Highways Infrastructure is nearly a third lighter than its predecessor; Well Maintained Highways 2005.   Not only is it lighter but it is less prescriptive, preferring instead to place emphasis upon individual highway authorities to devise their own systems whilst utilising the Code’s risk based approach.    

Notable changes include the removal of suggested inspection hierarchies and guidance for authorities on what may constitute a dangerous defect.  Many highway authorities have expressed concern as to the uncertainty created by those changes.  It is our view that the amendments to the new Code, whilst significant, need not undermine highway authority repudiation rates.  In fact, the new Code encourages a level of versatility which could give rise to new grounds upon which to mount the defence of highways claims but if not addressed correctly it may also create new areas of vulnerability for highway authorities.

We will be examining further the new Code in considerable detail at our forthcoming Public Sector conferences.  John Roberts of BLM will outline:-

  • The headlines arising from the new Code;

  • The actions that highway authorities will have to complete prior to 1 November 2018;

  • The implications of the new Code for claims investigation, disclosure and evidence;

  • How we expect the code to impact upon claims defensibility.

To book your place please click here.

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Disclaimer: This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that may be of interest to customers of BLM. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in any particular case.

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Paul Tarne

Paul Tarne


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