Restricted Byway

Picking up on a issue that the Parish Council are progressing to change the Restricted Byway at the end of Church Lane going east to the entrance of the Parish Field. See a previous post.

I have had a look around on the internet to see if I could make sense of the whole RB thing applying to that road. I think I know less now about the reasoning than if I had left my laptop closed and had a dream about it.

There is a document which I think that the Government of that time hoped would increase our understanding namely; EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM TO THE RESTRICTED BYWAYS (APPLICATION AND CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENT OF PROVISIONS) REGULATIONS 2006. I was in some dread when I saw the text ‘EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM’ because I have looked at a lot of documents on ‘GOV.UK’ sites and most leave me a bit cold. Anyway this Memo says that the previous category of highway shown on the local authorities’ definitive map as a ‘R.U.P.P.’ road used as a public path would henceforth be a restricted byway. Hold on, am I missing something. When a road is used as a public path then why restrict vehicles in the new classification.

I know I am being selective about the bits I am quoting but if you do a search on restricted byways on the internet then you should find the Memo if you feel that way inclined. The telling paragraphs are 7.2 onwards. I paraphrase. It had been longstanding policy to phase out RUPPs, and imposing a requirement for the highway authority to reclassify RUPPs as either a footpath, bridleway, or a BOAT (Byway Open to All Traffic) under an 1981 Act. The reclassification of RUPPs had proved time consuming and burdensome (ahhhh) so the 2000 act reclassified the remaining RUPPs as restricted byways.

A few questions in my mind, was the original RUPP classification of the end of Church Lane correct, and was the road reviewed or was it affected by the blanket reclassification?

If you look at old ordnance survey maps, and I am going back at least 100 years, you can see on a lot a clear continuation of Church Lane past the turn off into the parish field. This is repeated on a number of old maps. My favourite is the OS six inch 1888. So I know a lot of people have lived in this village prior to the 1981 act and therefore should know the history of this piece of road which now does not have motor propelled vehicular access. Perhaps the dog poo bin should be emptied by horse and cart.