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Public Right of Way blocked.

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Public Right of Way blocked.

Postby Hairyloon » Tue May 31, 2016 11:51 am

I have read that if a public right of way is obstructed, then a member of the public is within his rights to remove the obstruction sufficient to allow passage, but the places I have read it do not reference the source (though they otherwise appear reliable).
Is the right conferred by common law and if so, what is the best way to reference it? Or is it simply allowed by dint of it being a "lawful excuse" to not being criminal damage.
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Re: Public Right of Way blocked.

Postby Millbrook2 » Tue May 31, 2016 2:36 pm

I believe there is both a common law right and a statutory right, the latter vested in the Highway Authority. Can comment on a member of the public issue.
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Re: Public Right of Way blocked.

Postby diy » Tue May 31, 2016 7:48 pm

The right of way is to pass over the land. It doesn't give you a right to damage property or destroy anything..

You should complain to your local highways authority, which is the county council or unitary authority where you live.
If the path is blocked deliberately it’s a criminal offence under Section 137 of the Highways Act 1980.
If it's overgrown from below it's the highway authority's responsibility. If it's overgrown from the sides it would be the responsibility of the adjoining landowner, but you should still complain to the highways authority.
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Re: Public Right of Way blocked.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:14 am

diy wrote:The right of way is to pass over the land. It doesn't give you a right to damage property or destroy anything..

What law prohibits such damage, other than the Criminal Damage Act 1971, which says:
A person charged with an offence to which this section applies, shall, whether or not he would be treated for the purposes of this Act as having a lawful excuse apart from this subsection, be treated for those purposes as having a lawful excuse—
(b)if he destroyed or damaged or threatened to destroy or damage the property in question or, in the case of a charge of an offence under section 3 above, intended to use or cause or permit the use of something to destroy or damage it, in order to protect property belonging to himself or another or a right or interest in property which was or which he believed to be vested in himself or another, and at the time of the act or acts alleged to constitute the offence he believed—
(i)that the property, right or interest was in immediate need of protection; and
(ii)that the means of protection adopted or proposed to be adopted were or would be reasonable having regard to all the circumstances.
?
There is the question of whether the right is in "immediate need" of protection, but if one wants to go that way now, then doesn't the right need protecting now?

You should complain to your local highways authority, which is the county council or unitary authority where you live.
If the path is blocked deliberately it’s a criminal offence under Section 137 of the Highways Act 1980.

A complaint has been made, but the latest gossip on the street is that there was a notice from the police or council so it seems perhaps that it was officially closed.
Though we are yet to find anyone who noticed the notice before the closure, so the notification looks to have been inadequate.
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Re: Public Right of Way blocked.

Postby dls » Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:54 pm

The case can vary. It is a clear tort to damage somebody else's property. Criminal damage may not apply to land as such

A public right of way is not a right vested in any particular person.
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Re: Public Right of Way blocked.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:25 pm

dls wrote:The case can vary. It is a clear tort to damage somebody else's property.

True enough, but this may depend upon what we mean by "damage": criminal damage has been applied to things that most people would not consider as damage.

A public right of way is not a right vested in any particular person.

Does it need to be? "Another" does not specify a particular person.
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Re: Public Right of Way blocked.

Postby dls » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:02 pm

Does it need to be?


Yes. Read the words
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Re: Public Right of Way blocked.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:16 pm

dls wrote:
Does it need to be?


Yes. Read the words

I have done. If a right of way is not vested in people, then where is it vested? Or has it no vest?
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Re: Public Right of Way blocked.

Postby dls » Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:00 pm

Private rights of way are vested in the owner for the time being of the dominant owner.

A public right of way is not so vested.
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Re: Public Right of Way blocked.

Postby Hairyloon » Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:27 pm

dls wrote:A public right of way is not so vested.

Then how so is it vested?
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