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Do skips on roads need to be lit?

A month ago I was riding my bike at night along a poorly lit road having just finished my late shift. I was riding within the speed limit when I suddenly noticed an unlit large object parked about 15 metres away from me on the side of the road. I had no time to come to a complete stop. I tried to swerve but wasn’t able to in time and instead I collided with an unlit skip. I broke my ankle and will now be off work for a couple of months. Do I have a claim?

Dave, Cheshire



You may have a claim. Section 139 of the Highways Act 1980 deals specifically with skips that are deposited on carriageways. It states that the relevant highway authority may impose conditions that relate to the siting of the skip, its dimensions, its colour and lighting to make sure the skip is immediately visible to oncoming traffic.

As the skip was unlit then this is indicative that it may be found to have constituted both an obstruction and a source of danger to road users. This would be enough to succeed in negligence.

However, the Defendant will likely raise contributory negligence arguments for not keeping as good a lookout as you ought to. It is possible that you could be found largely at fault so it would be sensible to instruct a specialist solicitor to make sure you achieve the best possible result.



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