In response to the calls and complaints that we are getting in regards to Off-Road vehicles being used on Public rights of way such as Footpaths and Bridleways and in conjunction with the Planned Operation that will be taking place later in October 2017 here is some information about Public rights of way and the laws around the use of a Motor Vehicle off-road.
Private Land- if you are planning on riding on Private land you MUST have the permission of the land owner to use their land.
Public Footpath- these are indicated by a YELLOW WAYMARKER (small triangle arrow) and these are meant for the use of walkers ONLY.
Public Bridleway- these are indicated by a BLUE WAYMARKER and are only meant for the use of walkers, cyclists and horseriders
Public restricted Byway- these are indicated by a PURPLE WAYMARKER and are only meant for the use of walker, cyclists, horseriders or a horse-drawn carriage
Public Byway- these are indicated by a RED WAYMARKER and are meant for the use of all traffic including motor vehicles.
It is illegal to ride a Mechanically propelled vehicle (motor vehicle) on any right of way other than on a Public Byway. If you are caught using a Mechanically propelled vehicle on a Public Footpath or Public Bridleway you are guilty of the offence of Use of a motor vehicle other than on a road.
If you are using a Motor Vehicle on any Public right of way other than a Public Byway you may not just be guilty of the offence of Use of a Motor Vehicle other than on a road. If you are using the Motor Vehicle on a Public Footpath/ Bridleway/ Restricted Byway the Vehicle MUST still be Road Taxed, MOT'd and Insured in case you were to have an accident. If your vehicle is not fully road legal it can be seized for having no insurance, you can also be reported to the DVLA for not having Road Tax on the Vehicle you are using. To use a Motor Vehicle without Insurance or without an MOT certificate are criminal offences.
If you knowingly permit someone else to use your Motor Vehicle when it has no insurance or no MOT you are also guilty of an of permitting the vehicle to be used without MOT or Insurance.
If you are deemed to be using a Motor Vehicle in a manner that could cause another person to feel alarmed or distressed or if you are seen using a motor vehicle other than on a Public Byway you can also be issued with a Section 59 warning and your vehicle could be seized whether it belongs to you or not.
PCSO 30640 Ashley Fuller