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Another horse runs on to road
ANOTHER tethered horse has escaped and run on to a York road – as it emerged that City of York Council would struggle to defend accident insurance claims involving such animals.
The brown and white horse was spotted last Thursday evening in Link Road, Osbaldwick, by local councillor Mark Warters as he was walking his dog.
“It had been spooked and was running around on the road and the verge,” he said.
A parish councillor immediately called police.
North Yorkshire Police said they had been called at 7.50pm and an officer spoke to the owner who recovered the horse.
Several horses tethered on verges on the eastern side of York have broken free over the past month or so. Two of them have been killed after being struck by vehicles.
The owner of a Ford Transit van which was written off in one of those accidents – who was told by police he would have been killed had he been driving a car – has said he intends to sue the council.
Coun Warters, who has been quizzing officers about the authority’s legal liability with such accidents, said he had now received an email from David Walker, head of financial procedures, telling him the views of an official at the council’s insurers Zurich Municipal.
The official said he could not offer legal advice, but it seemed to him that as the Highways Authority, the council would be deemed responsible if an “obstruction was caused emanating from the verge”.
He said: “At common law and under statute, you will, in my view, struggle to defend as you are fully aware of this issue and the potential for serious injury or death.”
Mr Walker said any claim would be met from the council’s public liability policy, but Coun Warters queried whether this might increase the authority’s premiums in the long run.