Section 41 of The Highways Act 1980, imposes a duty on highway authorities to maintain those roads, footway and cycle tracks that are 'highways maintainable at public expense'. While the council is not liable for every slip, trip or accident that occurs in the Borough of Dudley, if an individual sustains a personal injury or damage to their property, which they believe to have been caused by the Council's failure to comply with section 41 of The Highways Act 1980, they may submit a claim for compensation. Third Party claims against the Council as highway authority can be for either personal injury accidents or damage to personal property such as cars, clothing or premises, caused by alleged defects in the publicly maintainable highway or a nuisance caused or permitted by the Council.
The council will investigate every claim, which may involve a site meeting with the claimant to confirm the location of the incident. As part of this process, a Risk Management Technician would visit the accident sites and, where necessary takes photographs. These, together with a report on their findings at the time of their visit, and any other relevant information available which is pertinent to an individual case, is passed to Risk Management and Insurance Section of Dudley MBC
Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980 provides the Council with a statutory defence against claims where it can establish that reasonable care has been taken to "secure that the part of the highway to which the action relates was not dangerous to traffic". A systematic process of highway safety inspections, intervention and repairs applied in accordance with the Council’s policy is necessary for the statutory defence.
Dudley Council's Road Safety and Travel Awareness Team carries out a statutory responsibility under the 1988 Road Traffic Act to deliver a program of road safety education, training and publicity. For further information please refer to the Road Safety web pages.
Claims must be submitted in writing to us. It would be extremely helpful, if as much information as possible, could be given regarding the actual location and the nature of the defect together with the time and date of the incident.
If, following an accident, a person wishes to inform the council about the existence of a defect on the public highway, they should contact us as per the contact details below.