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Part IIE+W+S Public rights of way and road traffic

Public rights of way and definitive maps and statementsE+W


55 Bridleway rights over ways shown as bridleways.E+W

(1)Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the public shall, as from the day after the cut-off date, have a right of way on horseback or leading a horse over any way which—

(a)was immediately before 1st January 1949 either a footpath or a bridleway, and

(b)is, throughout the period beginning with the commencement of this section and ending with the cut-off date,

a footpath which is shown in a definitive map and statement as a bridleway.

(2)Subsection (1) has effect subject to the operation of any enactment or instrument (whether coming into operation before or after the cut-off date), and to the effect of any event otherwise within section 53(3)(a) of the 1981 Act, whereby a highway is authorised to be stopped up, diverted, widened or extended; and subsection (1) applies accordingly to any way as so diverted, widened or extended.

(3)Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to any way which is, or is part of, a footpath any part of which is in an area which, immediately before 1st April 1965, formed part of the administrative county of London.

(4)Any right of way over a way by virtue of subsection (1) is subject to any condition or limitation to which the public right of way on foot over that way was subject on the cut-off date.


(a)by virtue of regulations under section 56(2) an order under Part III of the 1981 Act takes effect after the cut-off date in relation to any footpath which, at the cut-off date was shown in a definitive map and statement as a bridleway,

(b)the regulations do not prevent subsection (1) from having effect after the cut-off date in relation to that footpath, and

(c)if the order had taken effect before that date, that footpath would not have fallen within subsection (1),

all rights over that way which exist only by virtue of subsection (1) shall be extinguished when the order takes effect.

(6)In this section “cut-off date” has the meaning given in section 56.