Sunday, 1 December 2013

Public Rights of Way

Public rights of way are minor public highways that exist for the benefit of the community at large, in much the same way as the public road network does. They are the most widely recognised opportunity for the public to enjoy the English countryside. In Bedford Borough there are about 600 miles (965 kilometres) of legally recorded public rights of way. These are made up of footpaths over which the right of way is on foot only; bridleways for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists (who must give way to people on foot or on horseback); and byways open to all traffic (BOATs) for those on foot, on horseback and for all vehicular traffic. Carriageways are ways over which there exist footpath and bridleway rights, and a right to pass in or on a vehicle.

As a result of legislation, there are now additional terms and definitions which include: cycle track - a way over which there is a right of way on pedal cycles and possibly also on foot; and footway - a way set aside for pedestrians at the edge of carriageway, better known as a pavement. A green lane is a term with no legal meaning. It is a physical description of an unsurfaced track, normally hedged, and often, but not always, of some antiquity. It may be a footpath, bridleway or carriageway or may carry no public right of way.

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