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Road Traffic Act 1988

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[F134 Prohibition of driving mechanically propelled vehicles elsewhere than on roads.E+W+S

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, if without lawful authority a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle—

(a)on to or upon any common land, moorland or land of any other description, not being land forming part of a road, or

(b)on any road being a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway,

he is guilty of an offence.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) above, a way shown in a definitive map and statement as a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway is, without prejudice to section 56(1) of the M1Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, to be taken to be a way of the kind shown, unless (subject to section 34A of this Act) the contrary is proved.

(3)It is not an offence under this section to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle on any land within fifteen yards of a road, being a road on which a motor vehicle may lawfully be driven, for the purpose only of parking the vehicle on that land.

(4)A person shall not be convicted of an offence under this section with respect to a vehicle if he proves to the satisfaction of the court that it was driven in contravention of this section for the purpose of saving life or extinguishing fire or meeting any other like emergency.

(5)It is hereby declared that nothing in this section prejudices the operation of—

(a)section 193 of the M2Law of Property Act 1925 (rights of the public over commons and waste lands), or

(b)any byelaws applying to any land,

or affects the law of trespass to land or any right or remedy to which a person may by law be entitled in respect of any such trespass or in particular confers a right to park a vehicle on any land.

(6)Subsection (2) above and section 34A of this Act do not extend to Scotland.

(7)In this section—

  • definitive map and statement” has the same meaning as in Part III of the M3Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981;

  • mechanically propelled vehicle” does not include a vehicle falling within paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of section 189(1) of this Act; and

  • restricted byway” means a way over which the public have restricted byway rights within the meaning of Part II of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, with or without a right to drive animals of any description along the way, but no other rights of way.]

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 34 substituted (30.1.2001) by 2000 c. 37, ss. 67, 103(2), Sch. 7 para. 5

Marginal Citations

[F134 Prohibition of driving mechanically propelled vehicles elsewhere than on roads.E+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, if without lawful authority a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle—

(a)on to or upon any common land, moorland or land of any other description, not being land forming part of a road, or

(b)on any road being a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway,

he is guilty of an offence.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) above, a way shown in a definitive map and statement as a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway is, without prejudice to section 56(1) of the M1Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, to be taken to be a way of the kind shown, unless F2. . . the contrary is proved.

[F3(2A)It is not an offence under this section for a person with an interest in land, or a visitor to any land, to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road if, immediately before the commencement of section 47(2) of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, the road was—

(a)shown in a definitive map and statement as a road used as a public path, and

(b)in use for obtaining access to the land by the driving of mechanically propelled vehicles by a person with an interest in the land or by visitors to the land.]

(3)It is not an offence under this section to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle on any land within fifteen yards of a road, being a road on which a motor vehicle may lawfully be driven, for the purpose only of parking the vehicle on that land.

(4)A person shall not be convicted of an offence under this section with respect to a vehicle if he proves to the satisfaction of the court that it was driven in contravention of this section for the purpose of saving life or extinguishing fire or meeting any other like emergency.

(5)It is hereby declared that nothing in this section prejudices the operation of—

(a)section 193 of the M2Law of Property Act 1925 (rights of the public over commons and waste lands), or

(b)any byelaws applying to any land,

or affects the law of trespass to land or any right or remedy to which a person may by law be entitled in respect of any such trespass or in particular confers a right to park a vehicle on any land.

(6)Subsection (2) above [F4does] not extend to Scotland.

(7)In this section—

  • definitive map and statement” has the same meaning as in Part III of the M3Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981;

  • [F5interest”, in relation to land, includes any estate in land and any right over land (whether exercisable by virtue of the ownership of an estate or interest in the land or by virtue of a licence or agreement) and, in particular, includes rights of common and sporting rights;]

  • mechanically propelled vehicle” does not include a vehicle falling within paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of section 189(1) of this Act; and

  • restricted byway” means a way over which the public have restricted byway rights within the meaning of Part II of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, with or without a right to drive animals of any description along the way, but no other rights of way.

[F6(8)A person—

(a)entering any land in exercise of rights conferred by virtue of section 2(1) of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, or

(b)entering any land which is treated by section 15(1) of that Act as being accessible to the public apart from that Act,

is not for the purposes of subsection (2A) a visitor to the land.]]

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Extent Information

E1This version of this provision extends to England and Wales only; a separate version has been created for Scotland only

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 34 substituted (30.1.2001) by 2000 c. 37, ss. 67, 103(2), Sch. 7 para. 5

F4Words in s. 34(6) substituted (E.W.) (2.5.2006 for E. and 16.11.2006 for W.) by Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (c. 16), ss. 70(5), 107; S.I. 2006/1176, art. 6; S.I. 2006/2992, art. 2

F5Words in s. 34(7) inserted (E.W.) (2.5.2006 for E. and 16.11.2006 for W.) by Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (c. 16), ss. 70(6), 107; S.I. 2006/1176, art. 6; S.I. 2006/2992, art. 2

Marginal Citations

[F134 Prohibition of driving mechanically propelled vehicles elsewhere than on roads.S

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, if without lawful authority a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle—

(a)on to or upon any common land, moorland or land of any other description, not being land forming part of a road, or

(b)on any road being a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway,

he is guilty of an offence.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) above, a way shown in a definitive map and statement as a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway is, without prejudice to section 56(1) of the M1Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, to be taken to be a way of the kind shown, unless F2. . . the contrary is proved.

(3)It is not an offence under this section to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle on any land within fifteen yards of a road, being a road on which a motor vehicle may lawfully be driven, for the purpose only of parking the vehicle on that land.

(4)A person shall not be convicted of an offence under this section with respect to a vehicle if he proves to the satisfaction of the court that it was driven in contravention of this section for the purpose of saving life or extinguishing fire or meeting any other like emergency.

(5)It is hereby declared that nothing in this section prejudices the operation of—

(a)section 193 of the M2Law of Property Act 1925 (rights of the public over commons and waste lands), or

(b)any byelaws applying to any land,

or affects the law of trespass to land or any right or remedy to which a person may by law be entitled in respect of any such trespass or in particular confers a right to park a vehicle on any land.

(6)Subsection (2) above and section 34A of this Act do not extend to Scotland.

(7)In this section—

  • definitive map and statement” has the same meaning as in Part III of the M3Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981;

  • mechanically propelled vehicle” does not include a vehicle falling within paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of section 189(1) of this Act; and

  • restricted byway” means a way over which the public have restricted byway rights within the meaning of Part II of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, with or without a right to drive animals of any description along the way, but no other rights of way.]

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Extent Information

E2This version of this provision extends to Scotland only; a separate version has been created for England and Wales only

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 34 substituted (30.1.2001) by 2000 c. 37, ss. 67, 103(2), Sch. 7 para. 5

Marginal Citations

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