Patchetts Green Bridleways Trust
 PG: OBJECTS: RECORDING: (5) Frequently Asked Questions

This section contains some frequently asked questions, sent in by our registered supporters.

1. An order will record a path I use as a byway open to all traffic. Surely we'll object as we don't want to meet cars here?

A definitive map modification order can only record rights that already exist. The only things that are relevant to the confirmation of the order as matters of evidence as to what rights were created or what steps were taken to prevent rights from being created, and the dates of these events.

The inspector at a public inquiry into the confirmation of the order can only take those matters into account. In particular, he is unable to take into account any issue of desirability of certain user types on the route, or of whether the route is suitable for traffic of a partiular class. These matters are irrelevant in law. If someone objects on these grounds and takes up time at the inquiry, he is likely to be on the receiving end of a requst for costs - as everyone else present will have had their time wasted by the presentation of information which cannot affect the outcome.

As a result, we never object to such things unless we have evidence that shows that the status in the order is incorrect, rather than undesirable.

2. So we're lumbered with more cars?

Not necessarily. After the modification order process has determined what rights really do exist, the highway authority could then consider making a traffic regulation order to prohibit traffic that it thinks should not be there. The powers, and conditions for their use, are in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

3. Couldn't we argue that our evidence means it's only a bridleway?

We regularly meet the same people at different inquiries. If we argued that a particular map only meant bridleway when we really thought it meant byway, this would be thrown back at us at the next inquiry where we needed to argue it did mean byway. We would be foolish to do this as it could deny other riders and carriage drivers their rights. We would also be intellectually dishonest! But if a piece of evidence suggested that rights did not exist, we would of course confirm that was our interpretation.

Horse drawn vehicle on Aldenham 20
Restricted Byway (RB 20) in Aldenham
 

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