Clarification on clearing footpaths needed


The Labour party has called on the Government to issue “clear guidance” on the legal implications for householders and business owners clearing footpaths of snow and ice in front of their property.

Party spokeswoman on older persons Phil Prendergast said there has been conflicting messages about the issue during the recent cold spell.

She said: “Some reports suggest that a person could be taking on a legal liability by clearing a footpath outside their home or premises but there are also suggestions that failure to clear the footpath could create a legal liability for business owners or householders.”

Ms Prendergast said a website and phone hotline should be established to advise people on elements of civic responsibility and personal welfare in the freezing conditions.

“Some of the many injuries caused by falls due to freezing conditions could have been averted if citizens were made aware of their legal position in relation to clearing paths and other spaces outside the homes and premises,” she added.