RUPPS, BOATs and Restricted Byways

Notes of a presentation on 10 March 2008 by Alex Lewis to Longparish Parish Council

RUPPs – Roads used as a public path

A category of highway defined by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 as “a highway, other than a public path, used by the public mainly for the purposes for which footpaths or bridleways are so used” (“public path” = footpath or bridleway).

The definitive map was conclusive proof that any RUPP shown on it was a right of way on foot, or riding or leading a horse, but a public vehicular right of way may also have existed over a RUPP. It was intended to be a category for recording old public roads, but the term was misunderstood and misapplied in some cases, and so it cannot be said that all RUPPs were public rights of way with vehicles.

In order to clarify whether any given RUPP was a public right of way for vehicles, Parliament required County Councils to record any RUPPs having a public right of way with vehicles as Byways Open to All Traffic, and any which did not as bridleways or, occasionally, footpaths.

All RUPPs were converted to Restricted Byways on 2 May 2006.

BOATs - Byways Open to All Traffic

“…a highway over which the public have  a right of way for vehicular and all other kinds of traffic but which is used by the public mainly for the purpose for which footpaths and bridleways are so used”.

Where the definitive map shows a BOAT, that is conclusive evidence of the existence of a public right of way with vehicles.

Restricted Byways

A category of highway introduced by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 to replace RUPPs, although they can be created in other ways. Defined as “..a highway over which the public have restricted byways rights”. Restricted byways rights are a right of way right of way on foot, on horseback or leading a horse and a right of way for vehicles other than mechanically propelled vehicles.

Restricted Byways can only be upgraded to Byways Open to All Traffic if they are shown to be public rights of way for vehicles before 2 May 2006 and one of the exceptions in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 applies.

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