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723 No responsibility for damaged footbridge

Report ID: 723

Published: Newsletter No 51 - July 2018

Report Overview

A small footbridge in a public car park has the centre of the web missing for the last metre on one beam, and at least half of flange missing for the middle 3m of the span.

Report Content

A small footbridge in a public car park has the centre of the web missing for the last metre on one beam, and at least half of flange missing for the middle 3m of the span. This was reported to the local authority council who declined responsibility and passed the problem to the County Authority as this is a bridge. In turn the County said that it was not their problem and suggested phoning the owner of an adjacent superstore who did not respond. Who is responsible if no owner can be identified?

Comments

This and report 704 are very similar. It is heartening to see that in both cases, someone not only raised the issue but had the determination to carry it through. It does though seem wrong that it is left to third party responsible engineers to act in such cases.

Ownership can be complicated; however Local Authorities have powers to take action if there is a potential imminent risk to the public. They can take such action as necessary to remove the risk and to charge the owner for the costs when ownership is determined. Powers are usually delegated to the Local Authority Building Control office.

It should be noted, however that the responsibility for maintaining a safe structure always rests with the owner.

 

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View other CROSS reports published in Newsletter No. 51


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