HC Deb 21 July 2000 vol 354 cc350-1W
Mr. Kidney

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will introduce legislation to make provision for compensation for loss of business caused by roadworks carried out by highway authorities. [131250]

Mr. Hill

Highway works ultimately benefit the whole community. Occupies of premises may be entitled to compensation if something is done improperly (for example, the blocking of access without authority) but not otherwise. Businesses have no right in law to any given level of passing trade, and may suffer temporary loss owing to disruption of traffic flows. Trade may fluctuate for a variety of reasons, and accurately assessing the losses directly attributable to works in the highway can be difficult. There is, too, an element of 'windfall' profit and loss: often when one trader suffers a rival business in the neighbourhood stands to gain custom as a direct result of the same works. There are therefore no plans to introduce legislation to create legal liability to compensate anyone for loss of trade when a highway authority properly executes road works under its statutory powers.