Skip to main content

Roads: Byways Open to All Traffic

Volume 710: debated on Monday 11 May 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether regulation-making powers under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 are adequate to protect Byways Open to All Traffic from damage by mechanically propelled vehicles. [HL3178]

The Government believe the powers under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 are adequate to protect byways open to all traffic from damage by mechanically propelled vehicles, and particularly when used as part of an overall management plan. Defra has published both Making the best of byways and Regulating the use of motor vehicles on rights of way and off road, which provide guidance and advice to local authorities, the police and community safety partnerships on managing byways open to all traffic and on getting the most out of the existing legislation.

Under powers in the 1984 Act traffic regulation orders can restrict vehicular use to certain times or certain seasons, or even ban vehicular traffic altogether. Additional provisions introduced by the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, mean traffic regulation orders can now be introduced by national park authorities and be used for the purposes of conserving natural beauty.

The police also have powers under Sections 59 and 60 of the Police Reform Act 2002 to seize vehicles that are being driven on byways open to all traffic in a careless or inconsiderate manner and in a way that causes alarm, distress or annoyance.