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open drive gates onto public footpath council land


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Just had the side of our door scratched from someone leaving there drive gates open. the road has a dropped pavement all the way along what I mean by that is the pavement is the same level as the road all the way along so it never raises at any point.

 

wife tried to get passed a parked van today and didn't see the persons driveway gates open onto the foot path/road as stated they are all the same level.

 

It made a deep scratch along the drivers door (might be able to spray it myself) but left a note for them and contact detials asking for them to get incontact for the damage to the car.

 

Not sure if I would be able to get anything out of this but would rather them pay up first than out of my own pocket.

 

What is the law on driveway gates left open? I can't seem to find anyting on google searches regarding this.....only 1 statement from liverpool council about it being illigel to open them onto a public footpath

 

I am in Leeds so would assume it be the same law?

 

I can provide pictures of the street if need be to show what I mean about the road and the pavement?

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If you go into google maps and type in rookwood square leeds and go to street view you'll see what I mean thats where the incident took place. Looking back at the gates I wont give the house number about 10cm of the gate move out onto the road over hanging the pavement.

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wife tried to get passed a parked van today and didn't see the persons driveway gates open

 

So the person who's gates were open did what exactly?

 

I doubt they can be held responsable for your wife hitting there gates. Bit like someone walking on the curb and if you clip them with your wing mirror and brake it then trying to claim for the damage from them.

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They didn't do anything as they weren't in they left them open and went out somewhere. Wife came round the corner and a Van was parked just off not leaving enough room. Wife has gone to get passed the van and this persons gate was left open hanging over the pavement by around 10cm it wasn't until she heard a scrape on the back door that she saw the gate had caught her car.

 

I am sure there is a law about leaving gates open....at the end of the day it was hanging out onto the road and caused damage to a car that was actually watching another car parked on the road the gate shouldn't have been hanging off the edge of the pavement.

 

I'm not saying we will get anywhere with this but thought I would ask not sure how the law works on this one

 

Wife says that she found something on the Highways act 1980 - part IX obstructions of highways and streets section 153

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So was the van parked partly on the pavement?

 

I looked on google maps and can see what you mean about the pavement, everyone along that road pretty much has a drive and gates and some of them would need to open there gates outward as there drives are not long enough to get the car in far enough to have the gates open inwards..

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It's 100% your wife's fault for not looking properly! Stop trying to blame someone else for her not taking care, if she saw the gate open she could have got out of the car and closed it, so she could get through, if she didn't see it, well you know the answer to that one!

It's not what you want to hear, but it's right!

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Hi

 

Have to agree with DES

 

What would you have done if it was a pedestrian that your wife hit and not a gate that was on that pavement.

 

Your wife is at fault for not having a duty of care in making sure the pavement area was clear before proceeding to try and pass the van by driving on the pavement.

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well just pointing out that the gate was actually over hanging onto the road is was that bit that caught the car. The law states you can't have drive gates opening outwards onto a public path or road. while my wife was trying to navigate around a parked van you dont expect to have someones drive gates hanging out onto the road considering she didn't actually see the gate or she would have closed it.

 

We left a note to the guy he did ring and decided rather than actually being fair about it (the damage isn't actually that bad) he could have looked at the car I'm sure as a patch job I could probably spray it. It wouldn't look the best but we did say in the note that we could come round so he can see the car. instead he decided that as soon as my wife answered the phone he went straight into a rage f'ing this and that and we can go screw for anything as we werent the first person to try and get money for damage to the car due to his gates.

 

Wife explained that his gate was hanging out past the pavement and onto the road....the street is narrow and while she was actually trying to navigate past a parked van who was at an angle she didn't see his gate poking out from the hedge as she was trying not to clip the van. He wasn't bothered and just raged on about shooting her because thats what he does to people who mess with him. (her parents live next door to this person) so she informed the guy that the call was being recorded (we have an andriod app that records calls) he hung up.

 

We went to the police and reported the matter and they have said that a couple of cars have been damaged before with this person and he as been abusive to them so it seems to be an ongoing thing they were sending an officer round to speak with him and we have to make a statement later today to the police

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You must be someone with drive gates with that kind of attitude at the end of the day he was the one breaking the law causing an obstruction on the public highway I'm sure if it was your car you wouldn't be taking the same stance as "just live with it"

 

Considering we were never the first victim of his gates to get their car damaged why should other people lose out to the cost of a car repair and a paint job down to someone elses ignorance. The kind of attitude/threats this person had towards my wife shows the kind of person he is and how he thinks he can flaunt the law.

 

So no sorry I dont think its a waste of tax payers money I'm sure if this was the other way and it was your car and your partner getting threatend you wouldn't just live with it either. I will be taking this further

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We had a try-it-on-con-artist knock on our door, many years ago, claiming I owed him for damage to his pick up truck as he hit my gatepost - which is partially obscured by our hedge.

 

He reckoned it was our fault for not having cut the hedge back so that our gatepost was hidden.

 

I wrote him off as being in the same group of people as the people who offer to fix the roof for thousands, tarmac the drive, cut the trees - in other words, someone who was trying to extract money with doubtful means.

 

 

 

I would be very careful with what you say in your statement, OP, unless you want your wife charged with "driving without due care and attention". You had better also report the accident to the insurer - if you are going to the police with it you will have problems if you did not tell your insurer. Of course, insurers don't much like insuring people who collide with stationary objects, and load their premiums accordingly :D

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It is your wifes fault dosent matter if she didnt see the gates dosent matter if they were left open dosent matter if there was a van parked at the end of the day she hit them they didnt jump out and hit her car!! its just one of those things annoying but not anything that the police or anyone else need to look into. For it to be an obstruction in law it must not be a temporary obstruction and must substantially prevent free access of the public. open gates are temporary as if they were stopping you getting past all you have to do is shut them so not substantial. If you reall feel you want to you could try contacting the local highways authority and telling them but I cant really see them considering this a priority.

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Why would I shout at my wife? it wasn't her fault the end of the gate was hanging onto the road our car never went on the pavement thats the point I am getting at. fine if his gate was just on the pavement but as I said the last 10/15cm of the gate actually stuck far enough out onto the road.

 

Would the same scene be any different then if she has smashed into the corner of a car that might have stuck out by 10cm all well I'm not paying you because your car was a stationary object. there has to be some give and take and its not like we were the first people to have problems with the gate there has been a few others so it is of course and ongoing problem.

 

I see I am not getting anywhere on here so I will solve this problem out side of the place

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What a weird street! Two street lights on its length and most gates are painted black. No kerb as such - just two white lines to represent kerbs and let cars pass as if the road is hedge to hedge.

 

I suspect it must be a weekly event - and hate to think if someone new to the area drives there at night.

 

However, I wouldn't be surprised if the details you gave will be used to get back the money to fix the guys gates.

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RIGHT - SOME FACTS HERE!!!

 

I am 'the wife' in question - and thanks oddjobbob for your, quite frankly, ridiculous and obnoxious comments. I DON'T NEED GLASSES AND I AM A GOOD DRIVER!!!! Until you actually have experience of me or my driving, keep your opinion to yourself!!!

 

And that goes to Des as well - this is not a waste of taxpayers' money as this man has, quite clearly, broke the law (not just on this occasion as he admitted to this happening before). Try looking up the HIGHWAYS ACT 1980!!!

 

Now some more facts!!!! I drove into the street and had to drive on the right hand side of the ROAD because it is a small cul de sac and a van was parked on the left hand side. The road and pavement (as already mentioned) are the same level around the whole street. This man has gates that open out onto the road instead of inward as they should do LEGALLY. As I drove past the van I DID SEE the gates, and that was why I was manoeuvring my car around, being careful not to hit either. However, as I got past the van and straightened up the car, my rear passenger door caught the gate BECAUSE IT WAS OVERHANGING ON THE ROAD NOT JUST THE PAVEMENT.

 

I was driving on the road but this man's gates were clearly sticking out onto the road. I parked up my car outside my parents' (next door) and took a pic of the gate (clearly sticking out on the road). I also took pics of the damage to my car - then left a note to this man as he had gone out.

 

As for the comments about why didn't I shut the gate first - WHY DIDN'T THIS MAN SHUT HIS OWN GATES WHEN HE LEFT TO GO OUT???? I'm not the one in the wrong here - but it seems that if you break the law and someone elses property gets damaged, then you threaten the person who is clearly in the right, you still get away with it!!!!!

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The only other thing I can think of was I am sure there was a case years ago where someone ran into a skip left on an unlit road at night. I think the driver sued and won as the skip was dark and "should have lit". This however was years ago - going back to when roadworks had those little almost cubic lights.

 

It might give you something to look up.

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Blimey, nice to see everyone being so nice to each other...

 

Anyway, section 153 of the Highways Act does confirm that a gate should not open onto the street, so the owner of the property is technically in breach of the highways act.

 

However, in a civil action such as the OP's, the fact that there has been a breach of the highways act does not lead to an automatic finding of liability against the property owner.

 

If you wish to claim then you will have to prove that but for the unlawful gate being open the accident would not have happened. It is therefore difficult to succeed at 100% liability finding against the property owner as the judge will no doubt find that the gates were there to be seen, the driver should be driving at such a speed as to see hazards etc. Given that the road is also a cul-de-sac, you will also be up against it as there will be little speed involved. You will also have to prove that there was an obstruction in the road so as to create a further hazard to negotiate - any witnesses?

 

Whilst i agree that the property owners gate is probably not legal, it certainly does not get you home and dry by that fact alone.

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Hmm would it have been a childs fault if they had to walk round the gate, in the road and possibly being hit by an oncoming car?

The owner of the gate should NOT of left it open and is responsible for the consequences.

 

I suggest that before people start laying blame and being judgemental they should look it up first.

 

CAG is not the place to judge people they are here for advice.

 

Please refrain from posting if you do not have any advice.

 

This thread is now being closely monitored.

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Best contribution (so far) is from Endymion IMHO. Indeed the gates should not encroach onto the pavement or the road and the OP can report this to the appropriate authority. But this does not mean that the OP has a potential claim against the property owner. If the gates had somehow swung open into the path of the OP which resulted into a collision, then that would be a different ball game (providing there were witnesses). But to simply squeeze past with the gates already in the open position would suggest that the OP has been equally negligent. The question begs; if the gate had been a child standing there (perhaps with their back towards the OPs car), would she still have attempted to squeeze through at the risk of hitting the child?

 

As I see it the OP has 2 choices; pass on the details to his/her insurers for them to deal with (at the risk of loosing any no claims bonus/excess) or write to the property owner inviting him to pay for the damage as his gates were encroaching on to the highway. If you take the latter option, I think you will need to decide how far you are prepared to go if the property owner ignores your letter. Your only option if he does is to take the matter to the small claims court for the value of the damage. Personally I don't think you have a strong enough case to risk the court fees that would be involved. Perhaps a quick word with a solicitor who specializes in such matters would be wise. Most will give a free initial consultation.

 

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