Countryside and Rights of Way Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART II, PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY AND ROAD TRAFFIC - continued
Public rights of way and definitive maps and statements - continued

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Excepted highways and rights of way.     54. - (1) A footpath or bridleway is an excepted highway for the purposes of section 53(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 constituting or comprised in another 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 excepted 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 53(2) does not extinguish rights of way.
 
      (5) A public right of way is an excepted right of way for the purposes of section 53(3) if-
 
 
    (a) it subsists over land 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.     55. - (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) was immediately before 1st January 1949 either a footpath or a bridleway, and
 
    (b) is, throughout the period beginning with the commencement of this section and ending with the cut-off date,
  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) Any right of way over a way by virtue of subsection (1) is subject to any condition or limitation to which the public right of way on foot over that way was subject on the cut-off date.
 
      (5) Where-
 
 
    (a) by virtue of regulations under section 56(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.
 
      (6) In this section "cut-off date" has the meaning given in section 56.
 
Cut-off date for extinguishment etc.     56. - (1) The cut-off date for the purposes of sections 53 and 55 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.     57. 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.     58. - (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 local highway authority whose area includes land over which the proposed footpath or bridleway would be created.
 
Effect of Part I on powers to stop up or divert highways.     59. - (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.
 
 
Rights of way improvement plans
Rights of way improvement plans.     60. - (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 exercise and other forms of 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-
 
  "cycle track"-
 
 
    (a) means a way over which the public have the following, but no other, rights of way, that is to say, a right of way on pedal cycles (other than pedal cycles which are motor vehicles within the meaning of the Road Traffic Act 1988) with or without a right of way on foot; but
 
    (b) does not include a way in or by the side of a highway consisting of or comprising a made-up carriageway (within the meaning of the 1980 Act);
  "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, cycle tracks, 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 47 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.
 
 
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