14 November 2012

Rights of way: no claim against the landowner

Rights of way often do not include a right  against landowners for injury

Cycle paths on a right of way may not be the responsibility of a local authority and it may be that you will not have a claim at all if you fall from your bike because of a pothole.

Courts have held that the occupier of land over which a right of way crosses does not have a legal duty to maintain the pathway in good repair. You therefore may not have a claim at all no matter how big and dangerous the pothole when using a right of way over private land!

In essence,  when a cyclist exercises a right of way,  the landowner at that point is judged not to have control of the land and is not defined as an "occupier" with the legal obligations towards visitors normally expected.

Even if the landowner improves the right of way, say by paving, there is no obligation on him to continue maintaining the right of way if it falls in to disrepair and you will probably have no claim if you are injured due to any disrepair.

Contact Patrick Spence for more informatiom: 0207 254 6205

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