Countryside and Rights of Way Bill - continued        House of Lords

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  PART II
  PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY AND ROAD TRAFFIC
 
Public rights of way and definitive maps and statements
Redesignation of roads used as public paths.     43. - (1) In the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (in this Act referred to as "the 1981 Act"), section 54 (duty to reclassify roads used as public paths) shall cease to have effect.
 
      (2) Every way which, immediately before the commencement of this section, is shown in any definitive map and statement as a road used as a public path shall be treated instead as shown as a restricted byway; and the expression "road used as a public path" shall not be used in any definitive map and statement to describe any way.
 
      (3) In this section and sections 44 to 48, "definitive map and statement" has the same meaning as in Part III of the 1981 Act.
 
Restricted byway rights.     44. - (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the public shall have restricted byway rights over any way which, immediately before the commencement of section 43, is shown in a definitive map and statement as a road used as a public path.
 
      (2) Subsection (1) has effect subject to the operation of any enactment or instrument (whether coming into operation before or after the commencement of section 43), and to the effect of any event otherwise within section 53(3)(a) of the 1981 Act, whereby a highway-
 
 
    (a) is authorised to be stopped up, diverted, widened or extended, or
 
    (b) becomes a public path;
       and subsection (1) applies accordingly to any way as so diverted, widened or extended.
 
      (3) Subsection (1) does not apply to any way, or part of a way, over which immediately before the commencement of section 43 there was no public right of way.
 
      (4) In this Part-
 
 
    "restricted byway rights" means-
 
      (a) a right of way on foot,
 
      (b) a right of way on horseback or leading a horse, and
 
      (c) a right of way for vehicles other than mechanically propelled vehicles; and
 
    "restricted byway" means a highway over which the public have restricted byway rights, with or without a right to drive animals of any description along the highway, but no other rights of way.
      (5) Subsection (1) is without prejudice to any question whether the public have over any way a right of way for mechanically propelled vehicles or a right to drive animals of any description along the way.
 
      (6) In subsections (4) and (5) "mechanically propelled vehicle" does not include a vehicle falling within paragraph (c) of section 189(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
 
      (7) Every surveying authority, within the meaning of Part III of the 1981 Act, shall take such steps as they consider expedient for bringing to the attention of the public the effect of section 43(2) and this section.
 
      (8) Where-
 
 
    (a) by virtue of an order under subsection (3) of section 77 ("the commencement order") containing such provision as is mentioned in subsection (6) of that section, an order under Part III of the 1981 Act ("the Part III order") takes effect, after the commencement of section 43, in relation to any way which, immediately before that commencement, was shown in a definitive map and statement as a road used as a public path,
 
    (b) the commencement order does not prevent subsection (1) from having effect on that commencement in relation to that way, and
 
    (c) if the Part III order had taken effect before that commencement, that way would not have fallen within subsection (1),
       all rights over that way which exist only by virtue of subsection (1) shall be extinguished when the Part III order takes effect.
 
      (9) In this section "horse", "horseback" and "public path" have the same meaning as in Part III of the 1981 Act.
 
Provisions supplementary to ss. 43 and 44.     45. - (1) Every way over which the public have restricted byway rights by virtue of subsection (1) of section 44 (whether or not they also have rights mentioned in subsection (5) of that section) shall, as from the commencement of that section, be a highway maintainable at the public expense.
 
      (2) Every way which, in pursuance of-
 
 
    (a) paragraph 9 of Part III of Schedule 3 to the Countryside Act 1968, or
 
    (b) any order made under section 54(1) of the 1981 Act before the coming into force of section 43,
       is shown in any definitive map and statement as a byway open to all traffic, a bridleway or a footpath, shall continue to be maintainable at the public expense.
 
      (3) Nothing in subsections (1) and (2) or in section 44(1) obliges a highway authority to provide on any way a metalled carriage-way or a carriage-way which is by any other means provided with a surface suitable for cycles or other vehicles.
 
      (4) Nothing in section 44, or in section 53 of the 1981 Act, limits the operation of orders under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 or the operation of any byelaws.
 
      (5) Section 67 of the 1981 Act (application to the Crown) has effect as if this section and sections 43, 44 and 46 were contained in Part III of that Act.
 
Private rights over restricted byways.     46. - (1) Restricted byway rights over any way by virtue of subsection (1) of section 44 are subject to any condition or limitation to which public rights of way over that way were subject immediately before the commencement of that section.
 
      (2) Any owner or lessee of premises adjoining or adjacent to a relevant highway shall, so far as is necessary for the reasonable enjoyment and occupation of the premises, have a right of way for vehicular and all other kinds of traffic over the relevant highway.
 
      (3) In subsection (2), in its application to the owner of any premises, "relevant highway" means so much of any highway maintainable at the public expense by virtue of section 45(1) as was, immediately before it became so maintainable, owned by the person who then owned the premises.
 
      (4) In subsection (2), in its application to the lessee of any premises, "relevant highway" means so much of any highway maintainable at the public expense by virtue of section 45(1) as was, immediately before it became so maintainable, included in the lease on which the premises are held.
 
      (5) In this section-
 
 
    "lease" and "lessee" have the same meaning as in the 1980 Act;
 
    "owner", in relation to any premises, means a person, other than a mortgagee not in possession, who is for the time being entitled to dispose of the fee simple of the premises, whether in possession or in reversion, and "owned" shall be construed accordingly; and
 
    "premises" has the same meaning as in the 1980 Act.
Amendments relating to definitive maps and statements and restricted byways.     47. Schedule 5 to this Act (which contains amendments relating to definitive maps and statements and restricted byways) has effect.
 
Restricted byways: power to amend existing legislation.     48. - (1) The Secretary of State may by regulations-
 
 
    (a) provide for any relevant provision which relates-
 
      (i) to highways or highways of a particular description,
 
      (ii) to things done on or in connection with highways or highways of a particular description, or
 
      (iii) to the creation, stopping up or diversion of highways or highways of a particular description,
 
    not to apply, or to apply with or without modification, in relation to restricted byways or to ways shown in a definitive map and statement as restricted byways, and
 
    (b) make in any relevant provision such amendments, repeals or revocations as appear to him appropriate in consequence of the coming into force of sections 43 to 46 or provision made by virtue of paragraph (a).
      (2) In subsection (1) "relevant provision" means a provision contained-
 
 
    (a) in an Act passed before or in the same Session as this Act, or
 
    (b) in any subordinate legislation made before the passing of this Act.
      (3) The powers conferred by this section may be exercised in relation to a provision contained in an Act falling within subsection (2)(a) even though the provision is amended or inserted by this Act.
 
      (4) Regulations under this section shall be made by statutory instrument, but no such regulations shall be made unless a draft of the instrument containing them has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.
 
Extinguishment of unrecorded rights of way.     49. - (1) Subsection (2) applies to a highway if-
 
 
    (a) it was on 1st January 1949 a footpath or a bridleway, is on the cut-off date (in either case) a footpath or a bridleway, and between those dates has not been a highway of any other description,
 
    (b) it is not on the cut-off date shown in a definitive map and statement as a highway of any description, and
 
    (c) it is not on the cut-off date an excepted highway, as defined by section 50(1).
      (2) All rights of way over a highway to which this subsection applies shall be extinguished immediately after the cut-off date.
 
      (3) Where a public right of way created before 1949-
 
 
    (a) falls within subsection (4) on the cut-off date, and
 
    (b) is not on that date an excepted right of way, as defined by section 50(5),
       that right of way shall be extinguished immediately after the cut-off date.
 
      (4) A public right of way falls within this subsection if it is-
 
 
    (a) a public right of way on horseback, leading a horse or for vehicles over the whole or part of so much of a way as is shown in a definitive map and statement as a footpath;
 
    (b) a right for the public to drive animals of any description along the whole or part of so much of a way as is shown in a definitive map and statement as a footpath;
 
    (c) a public right of way for vehicles over the whole or part of so much of a way as is shown in a definitive map and statement as a bridleway; or
 
    (d) a public right of way for mechanically propelled vehicles over the whole or part of so much of a way as is shown in a definitive map and statement as a restricted byway.
      (5) Where by virtue of subsection (3) a highway ceases to be a bridleway, the right of way created over it by section 30 of the Countryside Act 1968 (riding of pedal cycles on bridleways) is also extinguished.
 
      (6) In determining for the purposes of subsection (1) whether a highway or any part of it was at any time a footpath or a bridleway, any diversion, widening or extension of the highway after that time (and not later than the cut-off date) is to be treated as having occurred before that time.
 
      (7) In determining for the purposes of subsection (3) whether a public right of way over a highway or over any part of it was created before 1st January 1949, any diversion, widening or extension of the highway on or after that date (and not later than the cut-off date) is to be treated as having occurred before 1st January 1949.
 
      (8) Where a way shown on the cut-off date in a definitive map and statement has at any time been diverted, widened or extended, it is to be treated for the purposes of subsections (1) to (5) as shown as so diverted, widened or extended, whether or not it is so shown.
 
      (9) In this section-
 
 
    "cut-off date" has the meaning given in section 52, and
 
    "mechanically propelled vehicle" does not include a vehicle falling within paragraph (c) of section 189(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
      (10) In this section and section 50 expressions used in Part III of the 1981 Act have the same meaning as in that Part, except that "highway", "footpath" and "bridleway" mean the whole or part of a highway, footpath or bridleway (as the case may be) within the meaning of that Part.
 
Excepted highways and rights of way.     50. - (1) A footpath or bridleway is an excepted highway for the purposes of section 49(1) if-
 
 
    (a) it is a footpath or bridleway which satisfies either of the conditions in subsections (2) and (3),
 
    (b) it is, or is part of, a footpath or bridleway any part of which is in an area which, immediately before 1st April 1965, formed part of the administrative county of London,
 
    (c) it is a footpath or bridleway-
 
      (i) at the side of (whether or not contiguous with) a carriageway not comprised in the same highway, or
 
      (ii) between two carriageways comprised in the same highway (whether or not the footpath or bridleway is contiguous with either carriageway),
 
    (d) it is a footpath or bridleway of such other description as may be specified in regulations made (as respects England) by the Secretary of State or (as respects Wales) by the National Assembly for Wales, or
 
    (e) it is a footpath or bridleway so specified.
      (2) A footpath or bridleway ("the relevant highway") satisfies the first condition if-
 
 
    (a) it became a footpath or bridleway on or after 1st January 1949 by the diversion, widening or extension of a footpath or, as the case may be, of a bridleway by virtue of an event within section 53(3)(a) of the 1981 Act,
 
    (b) it became a footpath on or after 1st January 1949 by the stopping up of a bridleway,
 
    (c) it was on 1st January 1949 a footpath and is on the cut-off date a bridleway,
 
    (d) it is so much of a footpath or bridleway as on or after 1st January 1949 has been stopped up as respects part only of its width, or
 
    (e) it is so much of a footpath or bridleway as passes over a bridge or through a tunnel,
       and it communicates with a retained highway, either directly or by means of one or more footpaths or bridleways each of which forms part of the same highway as the relevant highway and each of which either falls within any of paragraphs (a) to (e) or satisfies the condition in subsection (3).
 
      (3) A footpath or bridleway satisfies the second condition if-
 
 
    (a) it extends from a footpath or bridleway ("the relevant highway") which-
 
      (i) falls within any of paragraphs (a) to (e) of subsection (2), or
 
      (ii) is an excluded highway by virtue of subsection (1)(c),
 
    to, but not beyond, a retained highway, and
 
    (b) it forms part of the same highway as the relevant highway.
      (4) A retained highway for the purposes of subsections (2) and (3) is any highway over which, otherwise than by virtue of subsection (1)(a), section 49(2) does not extinguish rights of way.
 
      (5) A public right of way is an excepted right of way for the purposes of section 49(3) if-
 
 
    (a) it subsists over the whole or part of a way over which there subsists on the cut-off date any public right of way created on or after 1st January 1949 otherwise than by virtue of section 30 of the Countryside Act 1968 (riding of pedal cycles on bridleways),
 
    (b) it subsists over the whole or part of a way any part of which is in an area which, immediately before 1st April 1965, formed part of the administrative county of London,
 
    (c) it is a public right of way of such other description as may be specified in regulations made (as respects England) by the Secretary of State or (as respects Wales) by the National Assembly for Wales, or
 
    (d) it subsists over land so specified.
      (6) Regulations under subsection (1)(d) or (e) or (5)(c) or (d) shall be made by statutory instrument, and a statutory instrument containing such regulations made by the Secretary of State shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
 
Bridleway rights over ways shown as bridleways.     51. - (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the public shall, as from the day after the cut-off date, have a right of way on horseback or leading a horse over any way which-
 
 
    (a) immediately before the commencement of this section is, and
 
    (b) at the cut-off date continues to be,
       a footpath which is shown in a definitive map and statement as a bridleway.
 
      (2) Subsection (1) has effect subject to the operation of any enactment or instrument (whether coming into operation before or after the cut-off date), and to the effect of any event otherwise within section 53(3)(a) of the 1981 Act, whereby a highway is authorised to be stopped up, diverted, widened or extended; and subsection (1) applies accordingly to any way as so diverted, widened or extended.
 
      (3) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to any way which is, or is part of, a footpath any part of which is in an area which, immediately before 1st April 1965, formed part of the administrative county of London.
 
      (4) Where-
 
 
    (a) by virtue of regulations under section 52(2) an order under Part III of the 1981 Act takes effect after the cut-off date in relation to any footpath which, at the cut-off date was shown in a definitive map and statement as a bridleway,
 
    (b) the regulations do not prevent subsection (1) from having effect after the cut-off date in relation to that footpath, and
 
    (c) if the order had taken effect before that date, that footpath would not have fallen within subsection (1),
       all rights over that way which exist only by virtue of subsection (1) shall be extinguished when the order takes effect.
 
      (5) In this section-
 
 
    (a) "cut-off date" has the meaning given in section 52, and
 
    (b) expressions used in Part III of the 1981 Act have the same meaning as in that Part.
Cut-off date for extinguishment etc.     52. - (1) The cut-off date for the purposes of sections 49 and 51 is, subject to regulations under subsection (2), 1st January 2026.
 
      (2) The Secretary of State (as respects England) or the National Assembly for Wales (as respects Wales) may make regulations-
 
 
    (a) substituting as the cut-off date for the purposes of those sections a date later than the date specified in subsection (1) or for the time being substituted under this paragraph;
 
    (b) containing such transitional provisions or savings as appear to the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales (as the case may be) to be necessary or expedient in connection with the operation of those sections, including in particular their operation in relation to any way as respects which-
 
      (i) on the cut-off date an application for an order under section 53(2) of the 1981 Act is pending,
 
      (ii) on that date an order under Part III of that Act has been made but not confirmed, or
 
      (iii) after that date such an order or any provision of such an order is to any extent quashed.
      (3) Regulations under subsection (2)(a)-
 
 
    (a) may specify different dates for different areas; but
 
    (b) may not specify a date later than 1st January 2031, except as respects an area within subsection (4).
      (4) An area is within this subsection if it is in-
 
 
    (a) the Isles of Scilly, or
 
    (b) an area which, at any time before the repeal by section 73 of the 1981 Act of sections 27 to 34 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949-
 
      (i) was excluded from the operation of those sections by virtue of any provision of the 1949 Act, or
 
      (ii) would have been so excluded but for a resolution having effect under section 35(2) of that Act.
      (5) Where by virtue of regulations under subsection (2) there are different cut-off dates for areas into which different parts of any highway extend, the cut-off date in relation to that highway is the later or latest of those dates.
 
      (6) Regulations under this section shall be made by statutory instrument, and a statutory instrument containing such regulations made by the Secretary of State shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
 
 
Creation, stopping up and diversion of highways
Creation, stopping up and diversion of highways.     53. The Highways Act 1980 (in this Act referred to as "the 1980 Act") has effect subject to the amendments in Part I of Schedule 6 (which relate to the creation, stopping up and diversion of highways); and Part II of that Schedule (which contains consequential amendments of other Acts) has effect.
 
Application for path creation order for purposes of Part I.     54. - (1) An application for the making of a public path creation order under section 26(2) of the 1980 Act for the purpose of enabling the public to obtain access to any access land (within the meaning of Part I) or of facilitating such access, may be made-
 
 
    (a) by the Countryside Agency to the Secretary of State, or
 
    (b) by the Countryside Council for Wales to the National Assembly for Wales.
      (2) Before making a request under subsection (1), the body making the request shall have regard to any rights of way improvement plan prepared by any authority which is a local highway authority for the area in which the proposed footpath or bridleway would be situated.
 
Effect of Part I on powers to stop up or divert highways.     55. - (1) This section applies to any power to stop up or divert a highway of any description or to make or confirm an order authorising the stopping up or diversion of a highway of any description; and in the following provisions of this section-
 
 
    (a) "the relevant authority" means the person exercising the power, and
 
    (b) "the existing highway" means the highway to be stopped up or diverted.
      (2) Where the relevant authority is required (expressly or by implication) to consider-
 
 
    (a) whether the existing highway is unnecessary, or is needed for public use,
 
    (b) whether an alternative highway should be provided, or
 
    (c) whether any public right of way should be reserved,
       the relevant authority, in considering that question, is not to regard the fact that any land is access land in respect of which the right conferred by section 2(1) is exercisable as reducing the need for the existing highway, for the provision of an alternative highway or for the reservation of a public right of way.
 
      (3) Where-
 
 
    (a) the existing highway is situated on, or in the vicinity of, any access land, and
 
    (b) the relevant authority is required (expressly or by implication) to consider the extent (if any) to which the existing highway would, apart from the exercise of the power, be likely to be used by the public,
       the relevant authority, in considering that question, is to have regard, in particular, to the extent to which the highway would be likely to be used by the public at any time when the right conferred by section 2(1) is not exercisable in relation to the access land.
 
      (4) In this section-
 
 
    "access land " has the same meaning as in Part I;
 
    "highway" includes part of a highway.
 
Rights of way improvement plans
Rights of way improvement plans.     56. - (1) Every local highway authority other than an inner London authority shall, within five years after the commencement of this section, prepare and publish a plan, to be known as a rights of way improvement plan, containing-
 
 
    (a) the authority's assessment of the matters specified in subsection (2),
 
    (b) a statement of the action they propose to take for the management of local rights of way, and for securing an improved network of local rights of way, with particular regard to the matters dealt with in the assessment, and
 
    (c) such other material as the Secretary of State (as respects England) or the National Assembly for Wales (as respects Wales) may direct.
      (2) The matters referred to in subsection (1)(a) are-
 
 
    (a) the extent to which local rights of way meet the present and likely future needs of the public,
 
    (b) the opportunities which local rights of way provide for open-air recreation and the enjoyment of the authority's area,
 
    (c) the accessibility of local rights of way to blind or partially sighted persons and others with mobility problems, and
 
    (d) such other matters relating to local rights of way as the Secretary of State (as respects England) or the National Assembly for Wales (as respects Wales) may direct.
      (3) An authority by whom a rights of way improvement plan is published shall, not more than ten years after first publishing it and subsequently at intervals of not more than ten years-
 
 
    (a) make a new assessment of the matters specified in subsection (2), and
 
    (b) review the plan and decide whether to amend it.
      (4) On such a review the authority shall-
 
 
    (a) if they decide to amend the plan, publish it as amended, and
 
    (b) if they decide to make no amendments to it, publish a report of their decision and of their reasons for it.
      (5) In this section-
 
 
    "inner London authority" means Transport for London, the council of an inner London borough or the Common Council of the City of London;
 
    "local highway authority" has the same meaning as in the 1980 Act;
 
    "local rights of way" in relation to a local highway authority, means-
 
      (a) the footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways within the authority's area, and
 
      (b) the ways within the authority's area which are shown in a definitive map and statement as restricted byways or byways open to all traffic.
      (6) In subsection (5) the definition of "local rights of way" has effect until the commencement of section 43 with the substitution for the references to restricted byways and to ways shown in a definitive map and statement as restricted byways of a reference to ways shown in a definitive map and statement as roads used as public paths.
 
      (7) In this section and section 57 expressions also used in Part III of the 1981 Act have the same meaning as in that Part.
 
Rights of way improvement plans: supplemental.     57. - (1) Before preparing or reviewing a rights of way improvement plan, and in particular in making any assessment under section 56(1)(a) or (3)(a), a local highway authority shall consult-
 
 
    (a) each local highway authority whose area adjoins their area;
 
    (b) each district council, and each parish or community council, whose area is within their area;
 
    (c) the National Park authority for a National Park any part of which is within their area;
 
    (d) where any part of the Broads is within their area, the Broads Authority;
 
    (e) the Countryside Agency or the Countryside Council for Wales (as appropriate);
 
    (f) such persons as the Secretary of State (as respects England) or the National Assembly for Wales (as respects Wales) may by regulations prescribe in relation to the local highway authority's area; and
 
    (g) such other persons as the local highway authority may consider appropriate.
      (2) In preparing or amending a rights of way improvement plan, a local highway authority shall-
 
 
    (a) publish a draft of the plan or of the plan as amended,
 
    (b) publish, in two or more local newspapers circulating in their area, notice of how a copy of the draft can be inspected or obtained and how representations on it can be made to them, and
 
    (c) consider any representations made in accordance with the notice.
      (3) As regards their rights of way improvement plan, any draft plan on which representations may be made and any report under section 56(4)(b), a local highway authority shall-
 
 
    (a) keep a copy available for inspection free of charge at all reasonable times at their principal offices, and
 
    (b) supply a copy to any person who requests one, either free of charge or on payment of a reasonable charge determined by the authority.
      (4) Local highway authorities shall, in carrying out their functions under section 56 and this section, have regard to such guidance as may from time to time be given to them by the Secretary of State (as respects England) or the National Assembly for Wales (as respects Wales).
 
      (5) A local highway authority may make arrangements with-
 
 
    (a) any district council whose area is within their area, or
 
    (b) the National Park authority for a National Park any part of which is within their area,
       for the functions of the local highway authority under section 56 and this section so far as relating to the area of that council or to the part of the Park within the local highway authority's area, to be discharged jointly by the local highway authority and by that council or National Park authority.
 
      (6) Regulations under subsection (1)(f) shall be made by statutory instrument, and a statutory instrument containing such regulations made by the Secretary of State shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
 
      (7) In this section "the Broads" has the same meaning as in the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988.
 
Application of ss. 56 and 57 to inner London.     58. - (1) The council of an inner London borough or the Common Council of the City of London may by resolution adopt sections 56 and 57 as respects their area or any part of it which is specified in the resolution.
 
      (2) On the passing by any authority of a resolution under subsection (1), sections 56 and 57 shall, as respects their area or the part of it specified in the resolution, apply in relation to that authority-
 
 
    (a) as they apply in relation to a local highway authority other than an inner London authority, but
 
    (b) with the substitution for the reference in subsection (1) of section 56 to the commencement of that section of a reference to the date on which the resolution comes into operation.
 
Removal of obstructions from highways
Enforcement of duty to prevent obstruction.     59. After section 130 of the 1980 Act there is inserted-
 
 
"Notices to enforce duty regarding public paths.     130A. - (1) Any person who alleges, as respects any highway for which a local highway authority other than an inner London authority are the highway authority-
 
    (a) that the highway falls within subsection (2) below, and
 
    (b) that it is obstructed by an obstruction to which this section applies,
       may serve on the highway authority notice requesting them to secure the removal of the obstruction from the highway.
 
      (2) A highway is within this subsection if it is-
 
 
    (a) a footpath, bridleway, or restricted byway, or
 
    (b) a way shown in a definitive map and statement as a restricted byway or a byway open to all traffic.
      (3) Subject to subsection (4) below, this section applies to an obstruction of the highway if the obstruction is without lawful authority and either-
 
 
    (a) the powers conferred by section 143, 149 or 154 below are exercisable in respect of it, or
 
    (b) it is of a description prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State and the authority have power (otherwise than under any of those sections) to secure its removal.
      (4) This section does not apply to an obstruction if-
 
 
    (a) it is, or is part of-
 
      (i) a building (whether temporary or permanent), or
 
      (ii) any other structure (including a vehicle or other movable object) which it appears may be used as a dwelling,
 
    (b) an order may be made in respect of it under section 56(4) above, or
 
    (c) the presence of any person constitutes the obstruction.
      (5) A highway authority on whom a notice under subsection (1) above is served by any person shall, within one month from the date of service of the notice, serve-
 
 
    (a) on that person, a notice stating what, if any, action they propose to take in relation to the obstruction, and
 
    (b) so far as reasonably practicable, on every person who it appears to them may be for the time being responsible for the obstruction, a notice informing that person that a notice under subsection (1) above has been served in relation to it and stating what, if any, action the authority propose to take.
      (6) For the purposes of subsection (5)(b) above the persons responsible for an obstruction include any person who has possession or control of it or who may be required to remove it.
 
      (7) A notice under subsection (1) or (5) above shall be in such form and contain such information as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State.
 
      (8) In this section "inner London authority" means Transport for London, the council of an inner London borough or the Common Council of the City of London.
 
      (9) Subsection (2) above has effect until the commencement of section 43 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 with the substitution for the references to a restricted byway and to a way shown in a definitive map and statement as a restricted byway of a reference to a way shown in a definitive map and statement as a road used as a public path.
 
Orders following notice under section 130A.     130B. - (1) Where a notice under section 130A(1) above has been served on a highway authority in relation to any obstruction, the person who served it, if not satisfied that the obstruction has been removed, may-
 
 
    (a) after the end of five days beginning with the date of service on the authority of notice of his intention to apply for an order under this section, and
 
    (b) before the end of six months beginning with the date of service of the notice under section 130A(1) above,
       apply to a magistrates' court for such an order.
 
      (2) No notice under subsection (1)(a) above shall be served before the end of two months beginning with the date of service of the notice under section 130A(1) above.
 
      (3) An order under this section is an order requiring the highway authority to take, within such reasonable period as may be fixed by the order, such steps as may be specified in the order for securing the removal of the obstruction.
 
      (4) Subject to subsection (5) below, the court may make an order under this section if it is satisfied-
 
 
    (a) that the obstruction is one to which section 130A above applies,
 
    (b) that the way obstructed is a highway within subsection (2) of that section, and
 
    (c) that the obstruction significantly interferes with the exercise of public rights of way over that way.
      (5) No order shall be made under this section if the highway authority satisfy the court-
 
 
    (a) that the fact that the way obstructed is a highway within section 130A(2) above is seriously disputed,
 
    (b) on any other grounds, that they have no duty under section 130(3) above to secure the removal of the obstruction, or
 
    (c) that, under arrangements which have been made by the authority, its removal will be secured within a reasonable time, having regard to the number and seriousness of obstructions in respect of which they have such a duty.
      (6) Where an application is dismissed by virtue of paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (5) above, the court, in determining whether and if so how to exercise its power under section 64(1) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (costs), shall have particular regard to any failure by the highway authority to give the applicant appropriate notice of and information about the grounds relied on by the authority under that paragraph.
 
      (7) An order under this section may be varied on the application of the highway authority to whom it relates."
 
Power to order offender to remove obstruction.     60. - (1) After section 137 of the 1980 Act (penalty for wilful obstruction) there is inserted-
 
 
"Power to order offender to remove obstruction.     137ZA. - (1) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 137 above in respect of the obstruction of a highway and it appears to the court that-
 
    (a) the obstruction is continuing, and
 
    (b) it is in that person's power to remove the cause of the obstruction,
       the court may, in addition to or instead of imposing any punishment, order him to take, within such reasonable period as may be fixed by the order, such steps as may be specified in the order for removing the cause of the obstruction.
 
      (2) The time fixed by an order under subsection (1) above may be extended or further extended by order of the court on an application made before the end of the time as originally fixed or as extended under this subsection, as the case may be.
 
      (3) Where a person is ordered under subsection (1) above to remove the cause of any obstruction, that person shall not be liable under section 137 above in respect of the obstruction in so far as it continues during the time fixed by the order or any further time allowed under subsection (2) above.
 
      (4) If a person fails without reasonable excuse to comply with an order under subsection (1) above, he is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale."
 
      (2) Subsection (1) does not have effect in relation to any offence under section 137 of the 1980 Act committed before the commencement of this section.
 
Overhanging vegetation obstructing horse-riders.     61. In section 154 of the 1980 Act (cutting or felling etc. trees etc. that overhang or are a danger to roads or footpaths) in subsection (1) after "public lamp," there is inserted "or overhangs a highway so as to endanger or obstruct the passage of horse-riders,".
 
 
Miscellaneous
Making of traffic regulation orders for purposes of conserving natural beauty, etc.     62. - (1) In section 22 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (traffic regulation for special areas in the countryside), in subsection (1)(a)-
 
 
    (a) the words "(other than Greater London)" are omitted,
 
    (b) at the end of paragraph (vi), the word "or" is omitted, and
 
    (c) before the word "and" at the end of paragraph (vii) there is inserted-
 
    " or
 
      (viii) a site of special scientific interest (within the meaning of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981);".
      (2) In subsection (2) of that section, for "the paragraphs of subsection (1) of that section" there is substituted "paragraphs (a) to (g) of subsection (1) of that section and referred to in section 6(1)(b) of this Act".
 
      (3) After subsection (4) of that section there is inserted-
 
 
    "(5) In subsection (2) above the reference to conserving the natural beauty of an area shall be construed as including a reference to conserving its flora, fauna and geological and physiographical features.".
 
      (4) After that section there is inserted-
 
 
"Traffic regulation on certain roads for purpose of conserving natural beauty.     22A. - (1) This section applies to roads other than-
 
    (a) roads to which section 22 of this Act applies,
 
    (b) special roads, or
 
    (c) any road which is a trunk road, a classified road, a cycle track, a bridleway or a footpath, as those expressions are defined by section 329 of the Highways Act 1980.
      (2) This Act shall have effect as respects roads to which this section applies as if, in relation to the making of provision with respect to vehicular traffic, the list of purposes for which a traffic regulation order under section 1 of this Act may be made, as set out in paragraphs (a) to (g) of subsection (1) of that section and referred to in section 6(1)(b) of this Act, included the purpose of conserving or enhancing the natural beauty of the area.
 
      (3) In subsection (2) above the reference to conserving the natural beauty of an area shall be construed as including a reference to conserving its flora, fauna and geological and physiographical features."
 
Prohibition on driving mechanically propelled vehicles elsewhere than on roads.     63. Schedule 7 (which makes amendments relating to the driving of mechanically propelled vehicles elsewhere than on roads) has effect.
 
Erection of stiles, etc.: needs of persons with mobility problems.     64. In section 147 of the 1980 Act (power to authorise erection of stiles etc on footpath or bridleway) after subsection (2) there is inserted-
 
 
    "(2A) In exercising their powers under subsection (2) above a competent authority shall have regard to the needs of persons with mobility problems.
 
      (2B) The Secretary of State may issue guidance to competent authorities as to matters to be taken into account for the purposes of subsection (2) above; and in exercising their powers under subsection (2) above competent authorities shall have regard to any such guidance issued to them."
 
Reports on functions relating to rights of way.     65. - (1) The Secretary of State (as respects England) or the National Assembly for Wales (as respects Wales) may make regulations requiring local highway authorities of a description specified in the regulations to publish reports on the performance of any of their functions so far as relating to local rights of way (whether or not those functions are conferred on them as highway authorities).
 
      (2) Subsection (1) is without prejudice to section 230 of the Local Government Act 1972 (reports and returns).
 
      (3) Regulations under subsection (1) may prescribe the information to be given in such reports and how and when reports are to be published.
 
      (4) Regulations under subsection (1) shall be made by statutory instrument, and a statutory instrument containing such regulations made by the Secretary of State shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
 
      (5) In this section-
 
 
    "local highway authority" has the same meaning as in the 1980 Act, except that it does not include Transport for London; and
 
    "local rights of way" has the same meaning as in section 56.
 
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