Any rights of way experts in the house?

Home Forum Bike Forum Any rights of way experts in the house?

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Any rights of way experts in the house?
  • jamiea
    Member

    On the way to work this morning I saw this new sign along the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway:

    To put it into context, besides the tracks of the busway there’s a tarmaced public bridleway, sections of which are very prone to flooding- here’s me getting to work a couple of years ago:

    Not wanting to get so wet again, I’ve since cycled along the track (the bridleway is much lower than the old railway line the busway was built on) and the grass bank besides it.

    Now ignoring the fact that the county council are wanting to criminalise those wanting to use the bridleway to get to work and for leisure purposes (as opposed to facilitating the use of the track during times of flood) are the signs right and do they they have the power to close a public right of way and prosecute those that ignore the closures?

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    The sign doesn’t say that they have closed the bridleway. It tells you to keep off the busway (whatever that is).

    jamiea
    Member

    The sign doesn’t say that they have closed the bridleway. It tells you to keep off the busway (whatever that is).

    The sign is on a gate the closes across the bridleway which also sports a ‘Track Closed’ sign. http://www.thebusway.info/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridgeshire_Guided_Busway

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    Fair enough. In answer to your question the do have the right to close bridleways. They also have the right to prosecute for trespassing on the busway.

    I’m guessing its one of these ‘track’ type things that guide buses with little rollers on the wheels etc down?

    In which case, I’m not sure you need an expert in rights of way, you just need someone with some common sense to realise riding down a bus track with large metal objects hurtling down on you whilst you’re trying to hop out the way or something isn’t a good idea. The council know that, hence the sign. Its a warning to keep idiots off the busway. Whats not to understand? Would you ride your bike down a motorway just because the bridleway next to it was under water?

    FFS

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    😀

    I was more diplomatic.

    Premier Icon schnor
    Subscriber

    ^^ that’s how I interpreted it. Looking at the busway on wikipedia (never heard of a busway either) I infer that its a privately-owned facility for the purposes of buses getting from X to Y. It specifies speed limits where it “crosses public highways” (roads / RoW’s / etc) so presume it isn’t one itself.

    There must be a local byelaw (or statutory instrument) that criminalises trespass so isn’t a ‘road’ either.

    That the BW floods meaning you effectively have to trespass (and open yourself up to a fine) onto the busway is another matter; personally I still would if it’s reasonably inconvenient to do otherwise

    [edit]

    too slow! I was referring to HTS’s first post. If indeed the sign is referring to BW users then I can only assume there was a legal order extinguishing / diverting the BW, but there should be a notice saying “Bridleway closed please use the crossing over there –>” (or words to that effect).

    If not (as wikipedia infers there are Highways crossing it then rather then them all being diverted / extinguished) then carry on using the BW. I’d also let your RoW team know the busway people are putting signs up that they shouldn’t (and also to double-check just in case!)

    jamiea
    Member

    I have a vague recollection of landowners only being able to close designated rights of way for 2 weeks at a time- did I just make that up? It was closed for at least 5 weeks during this winters floods.

    Thanks for your enlightened input DBW 😆 – No I wouldn’t ride on a motorway, but in assessing the risks of the options of my commuting route I feel that riding on the tracks where I can see busses approaching from at least 500m away is better that riding on the road. A leg full of titanium is testament to the fact that there are plenty of knobs on the road around these parts.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon schnor
    Subscriber

    You can get temporarily closures for either 5 days or 6 months (or 1 year if the Sec of State authorises it). It’s fairly rare to extinguish them completely, but for something of that size it’s possible (like a side roads order)

    jamiea
    Member

    If indeed the sign is referring to BW users then I can only assume there was a legal order extinguishing / diverting the BW, but there should be a notice saying “Bridleway closed please use the crossing over there –>” (or words to that effect).

    Nope, there are no notices of any diversions.

    You can get temporarily closures for either 5 days or 6 months (or 1 year if the Sec of State authorises it). It’s fairly rare to extinguish them completely, but for something of that size it’s possible (like a side roads order)

    There are two main sections that flood badly, each 200 or 300 metres in length.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    jamiea
    Member

    All the council & bus companies need to do is have a bit of joined up thinking as to an integrated transport infrastructure and have bike racks on the back of the busses. That way the scores of commuters that use the BW each day could negotiate the affected sections safely and without threat of prosecution.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    ninfan
    Member

    Ok, trespassing on the track is an offence under the 2005 cambridgeshire guided busway order 2005

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/3523/article/44/made

    So – the sign is certainly legally correct and enforcable

    Regard the Bridleway – there are bridleway map changes that have been made as part of the construction

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/3523/schedule/4/made

    However from what you’ve indicated this isn’t one of them, and there is established caselaw that if a Bridleway or other right of way is impassable then you have a right to divert across nearby land to exercise the right of way, and in doing so any trespass will be excused – Taylor v Whitehead (1781) – indeed this was also a case of a flooded path where the user was accused of trespass on adjoining land

    “Where it becomes impossible for a person to exercise his right without a trespass on the soil of another, the law will excuse the trespass”

    So, on that basis, you could not be punished for trespassing on the busway to bypass the flooded bridleway, since there is an established common law right, since roman times, to divert around an obstructed path to exercise the blocked right of way.

    😀

    jamiea
    Member

    Brilliant ninfan!

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    you could not be punished for trespassing on the busway to bypass the flooded bridleway

    You could however be killed by a bus.

    Premier Icon stimpy
    Subscriber

    Harry the Spider +1

    Neatly puts aside the legal niceties and gets to the core issue.

    jamiea
    Member

    You could however be killed by a bus.

    I could however be mown down by an old git joining a busy main road following a van and not looking. Oh, yes I was and spent 5 months on crutches and was off the bike for over a year. As previously stated, I am perfectly capable assessing the risks of the options open to me for my ride to work, as I see it riding on the left side track facing the buses is safe enough. On the return journey riding / pushing along the grassy bank adjacent to the track is the best option.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    You could however be killed by a bus.

    You could if you were particularly unobservant. It’s an old railway line across the fens. Flat as a pancake with few bends and many long straights. If Jamiea dies it will be as a result of a Darwin Awards event. 😀

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)

The topic ‘Any rights of way experts in the house?’ is closed to new replies.