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Division No. 1


Attlee, E.
Biffen, L.
Blackwell, L.
Blatch, B.
Bridgeman, V. [Teller]
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Craigavon, V.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Elton, L.
Fookes, B.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Glentoran, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hooper, B.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Luke, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mancroft, L.
Mar, C.
Marlesford, L.
Monson, L.
Moynihan, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Peel, E.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Rawlings, B.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L.
Wilcox, B.
Willoughby de Broke, L.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Berkeley, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Brennan, L.
Brett, L.
Bridges, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Chandos, V.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crawley, B.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
David, B.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Elder, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Gale, B.
Geraint, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grenfell, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hooson, L.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Islwyn, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Molloy, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Nicol, B.
Orme, L.
Perry of Walton, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Powell of Bayswater, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shepherd, L.
Sheppard of Liverpool, L.
Simon, V.
Slim, V.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Watson of Invergowrie, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wigoder, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

9 Oct 2000 : Column 79

7.20 p.m.

[Amendment No. 337 not moved.]

Lord Glentoran moved Amendment No. 337A:

    Page 60, line 18, at end insert--

(" . In subsection 147(1) of the 1980 Act (power to authorise erection of stiles on footpath or bridleway)--
(a) for "agricultural land, or of land which is being brought into use for agriculture" there is substituted "land";
(b) for "land for agriculture" there is substituted "land";
(c) after "shall be efficiently carried on," there is inserted "or for preventing the unlawful use of the path or way,"; and
(d) "for preventing the ingress or egress of animals" is omitted.
. Subsection 147(5) of the 1980 Act is omitted.
. After subsection 147(6) of the 1980 Act there is inserted--
"(7) All references in this section to a footpath or bridleway shall include a restricted byway."").

The noble Lord said: This amendment also concerns the power to provide barriers but this time not to control stock but to prevent the illegal vehicular use of bridleways, restricted byways and footpaths.

Section 147 of the Highways Act 1980 allows owners or occupiers of agricultural land or land coming into agricultural use to apply to the local authority in respect of a public footpath or bridleway to erect stiles, gates or other works across a right of way.

In agreeing to any such structure, the local authority must consider that it is in the interests of efficient agricultural use being carried out. The erection of a stile or gate is required to prevent the egress and ingress of animals. That is the only ground on which permission can be granted. That narrow power does nothing to respond to increasing concern over the illegal misuse of vehicles on public bridleways and even at times footpaths.

The amendment would amend Section 147 of the Highways Act 1980 to facilitate the use of barriers or other works at the discretion of the authority to

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prevent unlawful vehicular use of footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways. It would also remove the current restriction on the use of those powers to land used for agriculture or forestry or to land being brought into use for those purposes.

It could, accordingly, be used on land used for keeping horses or ponies for recreational purposes or on land in urban areas. The amendment also removes the current limitation on the purpose of such works which is purely to control the ingress and egress of animals.

This amendment would be highly valuable in preventing rural crime and ensuring the safety of users of rights of way. At present and in practice, very little can be done to prevent the illegal use of footpaths and bridleways by vehicles. If users of a footpath are endangered by such use, authorities could erect some sort of barrier, using the provisions of Section 66 of the Highways Act 1980. However, no such provision exists for bridleways or for the proposed restricted byways.

It is unrealistic to expect a regular police presence to deter illegal vehicular use. As well as often being a source of danger, a particular concern for rural communities is that illegal vehicular use of paths and ways frequently provides the means of access and escape for those engaged in rural crime; for example, theft of property, fly-tipping and perhaps even poaching.

Broadening the highway authority's power to permit the placing of appropriate barriers on rights of way would provide a practical method of preventing illegal vehicular use. As a barrier could be placed only at the discretion of the authority, that would protect users' legitimate concerns while acting to protect both users and landowners alike from illegal vehicular use.

It is recognised that gates on rights of way can inconvenience users. However, all that is sought is for the authority to have discretion to permit gates when there is clearly a problem with illegal vehicular use. Such illegal use is not of benefit to users of the way nor to land managers alike.

Many user groups would favour such a discretion in cases where there is persistent driving on rights of way. Further, from the land manager's perspective, if a route is being used by vehicles to aid theft, and that is adversely affecting the business of the occupier, surely there comes a point where the minor inconvenience to users of having to open and shut a gate is justified.

One benefit of the proposed amendment to Section 147 is flexibility. It would allow the authority to sanction the construction of pinch-points rather than gates where that was felt to be a better solution. From the owner's point of view, it is the illegal use of cars on paths--and, I dare say, motorbikes, quad bikes and so on--with their ability to carry stolen goods which is the major threat to security.

It is recognised that Ministers have sought to avoid the possibility of restricted byways being gated. However, the ability to allow gates across RUPPs has always existed, as they are legally presumed to be bridleways. Extending the power to erect barriers to such ways once they become restricted byways would

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merely maintain the status quo. There is no reason why it should lead to the erection of further gates unless there was a genuine problem with illegal vehicular use in a particular area.

If the discretion to allow gates is not applied to restricted byways, gates that already exist on RUPPs and which have been authorised by the authority for the control of animals may have to be removed once the RUPPs have been reclassified as restricted byways. That would cause significant resentment among land managers and would fail to recognise the practical problems of controlling the movement of animals.

It should be noted that all that is sought is for the authorities to have the discretion--and I emphasise that--to authorise the erection of gates or other barriers on rights of way where there is good reason for such barriers. There would be no obligation on the authority to grant permission. And, of course, this amendment makes the point that the decision is not in the hands of the landowners but in the hands of the access or local authority. I beg to move.

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