Lives have been put at risk by a House of Lords decision that said councils are not responsible for keeping roads free of ice in winter, warns the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS).

The Lords found that local authorities were only obliged to keep the fabric of roads in good condition and were not responsible for surfaces that had become slippery because of frost or mud.

The decision came from a damages action against East Sussex County Council by a motorist, Geoffrey Goodes, who was paralysed when his car skidded on ice and hit a bridge parapet.

Janet Tilley, chair of MASS, said: “This ruling has sent shockwaves across the UK and has implications for everyone who drives or uses a car.

“It is a House of Lords ruling, which means that parliament needs to act to reverse this decision as soon as possible, before other innocent victims are injured or killed.”