Jun 23 2013

Harrow Wins Court Case Over Pavement Bollards

harrow_council_logoA Supreme Court ruling in favour of Harrow Council has given Councils around the country more powers to tackle the problem of motorists who drive across the pavement to get to and from their their property.

The judgement announced June 29, 2013, allows Councils to take vital safety measures by installing barriers on pavements, which protect pedestrians by stopping cars from driving across, without fear that they will have to pay out compensation.

In 2009 Patrick Cusack, a solicitor based in Station Road, Harrow, challenged Harrow Council’s decision to install barriers outside his property from where he runs his business. The barriers were intended to try and stop motorists from driving over the pavement to park outside the property.

Mr Cusak sought an injunction in the County Court to stop the Council from installing the barriers. His case was rejected first by the County Court and then by the High Court but this decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal, who ruled that the Council could install barriers but under a different section of law to that which the council sought to rely on, and for which it would have to pay Mr Cusack compensation.

Harrow Council appealed this ruling to The Supreme Court – the highest court in the country – and all five Lords hearing the case unanimously ruled in the Council’s favour.

They agreed there is no general right to compensation when action is taken to restrict a property owner’s right of access to an adjoining highway and that installing the barriers would not be a deprivation of Mr Cusack’s rights or property.

Following the ruling, Harrow Council can now install the barriers in Station Road and can also look at doing so in other parts of the borough where there is a similar problem.  The decision also means that Councils around the country are now free to take such measures – which protect road users and pedestrians – without fear that they will have to pay out compensation.

Harrow Council Leader Cllr Thaya Idaikkadar said: “Harrow Council has a duty to protect taxpayers’ money, not shell out money in unwarranted compensation. These barriers are being installed to stop people from driving across the pavement and endangering the lives of others. People are not entitled to compensation just because they are inconvenienced by vital safety measures.”

The Court will now make a decision on costs.

(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)