This is a very basic introduction to Green Laning
Following the NERC (Natural Environment and Rural Communities) Act, which became law in March of 2006, there are only two types of Rights Of Way (in England and Wales) found on a 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey map that remain legal to drive with a motorised vehicle, subject to local Councils – more on that later.
ORPA (Other Route with Public Access)
Here we have an ORPA in north Wales:
Other ORPA’s follow the route of a Path:
Other ORPA’s might follow an “Other road, drive or track”:
BOAT (Byway Open to All Traffic)
Here’s a couple of BOAT’s on Salisbury Plain
Here’s a BOAT over an “Other road, drive or track”
To summarise, (on the OS 1:50,000 map) only the following types of unsurfaced Rights Of Way may be driven by a motorised vehicle:
TRO (Traffic Regulation Order)
A Green Lane might be subject to a TRO, in which case it should NOT be driven.
TRO’s are generally issued to protect the surface from deteriation due to inclement weather. Some lanes have seasonal TRO’s in that they might be closed over the winter period, or a TRO might be issued if the Council are repairing a lane.
The local council of the area the lane is in should be able to tell you if a particular lane has a current TRO. On the ground, you might come across a “Road Closed” sign or a Council sign on a gate. It is always best to check with the local council first.
Whilst a public right of way might not feel like a normal road, they are still subject to the Road Traffic Act, in that your vehicle must be taxed, MOT’s where applicable and the driver must hold a driving licence and be insured to drive that vehicle. The Police can still do you for traffic infringements such as speeding (!), drunk driving etc.
Before you attempt a lane, be absolutely sure the lane is legal to drive. If you are caught by the Police and taken to court, it will be up to you to prove that you had a legal right to be there (Guilty until you prove you are innocent)
GLASS (Green Lane Association)
CRAG (Countryside Recreational Access Group)
TRF (Trail Riders Fellowship)