Case details

London Borough of Southwark and another (Respondents) v Transport for London (Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2017/0160

Case summary

Issue(s)

Whether the effect of a Transfer Order, which transferred to Transport for London ("TfL") certain roads in London, was only to transfer the surface of the highway and sufficient sub-soil (normally called the two top spits) as is necessary for the maintenance of the surface, or whether it was to transfer to TfL the entire interest held by the council in the land on which the highway ran.

Facts

The Greater London Authority Act 1999 ("the GLA Act"), which established Transport for London ("TfL") as the body responsible for roads designated as Greater London Authority roads ("GLA roads"), provides that TfL is to be the highway authority for GLA roads. In order to give effect to this, the Secretary of State by statutory instrument ("the Transfer Order") transferred from the council of the relevant London boroughs to TfL "in relation to each GLA road … the highway, in so far as it is vested in the former highway authority". The dispute between TfL and the Respondent councils concerns the extent in the vertical plane of the interest which passed to TfL with the highways transferred to it under the scheme, i.e. whether it only transfers the surface of the highway and sufficient sub-soil as is necessary for the maintenance of the surface, or whether it transfers to TfL the entire interest in the land on which the highway ran. An arbitrator determined that the effect of the Transfer Order was to transfer the entire interest of the local authority concerned (subject to such parts as had been appropriated to other uses) to TfL. The Respondent councils appealed unsuccessfully against the arbitration to the High Court. The Court of Appeal allowed the councils’ appeal. TfL now appeals to the Supreme Court.

Judgment appealed

[2017] EWCA Civ 1220

Parties

Appellant(s)

Transport for London

Respondent(s)
  1. London Borough of Southwark
  2. City of London Corporation

Appeal

Justices

Lady Hale, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Briggs

Hearing start date

24 Oct 2018

Hearing finish date

25 Oct 2018

Watch hearing
24 Oct 2018 Morning session Afternoon session
25 Oct 2018 Morning session