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Highways Act 1980

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55 Extinguishment of liability to maintain or improve bridges comprised in trunk roads and special roads.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Where a highway comprising a bridge becomes a trunk road, and the bridge is transferred to the Minister[F1or a strategic highways company (“the trunk road authority”) ] under this Act, then, if immediately before the transfer the bridge was not a highway maintainable at the public expense, any liability of the owners of the bridge for the maintenance or improvement of it or of the highway carried by it is thereupon extinguished.

(2)Where the liability of the owners of a bridge is extinguished under subsection (1) above, the owners shall pay to the [F2trunk road authority] such sum as may be agreed between them and the [F3authority] or, in default of agreement, as may be determined by arbitration to represent the value to the owners of the extinguishment of their liability.

(3)Any sum payable by the owners of a bridge under subsection (2) above shall, in so far as it exceeds any sum payable by the [F4trunk road authority] to the owners under this Act, be paid, at the option of the owners—

(a)as a lump sum, or

(b)by annual instalments of such amount, and continuing for such number of years, as may be agreed between the owners and the [F4trunk road authority] or, in default of agreement, as may be determined by arbitration, or

(c)by perpetual annual payments of such amount as may be so agreed or determined.

(4)The foregoing provisions of this section apply where a highway comprising a bridge is included in the route prescribed by a scheme under section 16 above authorising the provision of a special road by a local highway authority and the bridge is transferred to the special road authority, as they apply where such a highway becomes a trunk road and the bridge is transferred to the[F5trunk road authority ]; and accordingly those provisions have effect as if the references therein to a trunk road and to the Minister[F6 , a strategic highways company or trunk road authority] included references to a special road and to the special road authority.

(5)In this section—

  • bridge” includes so much of the approaches thereto as supports or protects the surface of the trunk road or special road;

  • owners”, in relation to a bridge, means the persons who, immediately before the transfer of the bridge to the [F7trunk road authority] or the special road authority, were responsible for the maintenance of it, and includes any persons who, in pursuance of any agreement with the persons so responsible, were then discharging that responsibility on their behalf.

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