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Volume 984: debated on Monday 12 May 1980

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asked the Minister of Transport if he will introduce legislation to provide that liability under the Highways Act 1971 for ensuring that a skip is safely placed and lit at night does not place that liability with the person hiring the skip under a separate contract of hire, in view of the likelihood that a hirer may not be adequately insured against public liability risks; and if he will make a statement.

No. Section 31 of the Highways Act 1971 already makes the owner of a skip responsible for lighting it properly and for complying with any conditions imposed by the highway authority. The terms of a hiring agreement cannot remove this responsibility. If my hon. Friend has any specific evidence of problems relating to hirers' public liability, I will of course be happy to consider it.