Public Road on Private Land

April 16th, 2020 by James Goudie KC

R (Pereira) v Environment & Traffic Adjudicators (2020) EWHC 811 (Admin) concerned a parking ticket issued by Southwark Council. A judicial review challenge by a motorist succeeded. The case raised the question whether privately owned land, a stretch of pavement in Dulwich Village, was a “highway”, under Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980, or “any other road”, including pavement, under Section 15 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974, “to which the public has access”, so as to preclude even the owner of the land, Dr  Pereira, from parking there. Fordham J answered the question in the negative. There are twin preconditions for public access: factual public access and legal public access. Trespass, including tolerated trespass, can never be the basis of lawful public access.


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