Please can anyone enlighten me on signs now used ie what is a "public way" the track used to be a BOAT what is it now.
Track runs alongside my property at adsdean ,Funtington .Cars ,horses , walkers, cyclists, and quad bikes use it . I have no objections at all just confused by new sign.
Yes Bruce ... as a user of Disability Scooters ... totally confused as to who can go where in that part of the World
Perhaps SDNPA & JV can get RoW Status and condition clearly marked on Maps, Information Boards and Signs ASAP please !
"Public Way" is a term recently introduced by West Sussex County Council to describe Public Roads.
The origins of these Public Roads vary, some are old turnpike roads. By 1890 they had been recorded by the County Surveyor. on a map and report, of publicly maintainable roads, and classified as such. The report clearly infers that they were used by all forms of traffic at the time. Some of the turnpike roads became Main Roads by statute (locomotives act). Further county, district and parish records consistently describe them as "Roads". The Ordnance Survey represents many of these Public Roads as O.R.P.A - other ROAD with public access. They were also commonly known as Unclassified County Roads. It appears that WSCC surveyed these Public Roads in the 1990's and decided to record some of there publicly maintainable length as "G - ROAD".
After 120+ years of consistently describing these as roads the responsibility of management was transferred to WSCC Rights of Way. It's at this point that the somewhat ambiguous term of "Public Way" was introduced to describe these Public Roads.
Interesting John ....
Unilateral action by County, Parish, MoD, Quango, Landowner etc has added to the confusion.
WSCC just one Authority with controlling activity within SDNP ... "Engagement" bit like UN being powerless to intervene in hostilities around the World.
OS, Land Registry, MAGIC and IACS mapping rely on whatever information is given to them, cross checking is patchy. Seems various guys are entitled to divert RoW's at will, often disregarding safety and welfare of users.
Forum contributors have highlighted inconsistencies where RoWs have crossed 20th Century Administrative boundaries. Hopefully rationalisation of activities will cut across many boundaries already happening with some of the Emergency Services ... Wildlife of course has always disregarded such things.
Imagine state of Canals, Railways, Motorways, Pipelines and National Grid if sponsors had lacked the foresight and determination of Roman Generals.
G-ROAD like the personalized registration of a Corporate Jet ... wonder who owns that ?
Also wonder the current status of C, D, E & F roads .... Way marking guys running out of colours for those arrows on sign posts !
Unfortunately GPS mapping has led many a 42.5 tonne HGV and double decker bus up a blind alley with dire results.
Timetable for a Unified SDNP RoW map ASAP please ....
60's Director of MAFF Land Service insisted Agricultural Land Classification of England & Wales was completed and published by the time of his retirement ... happened to be WW2 ex-army officer, expected and got what he asked !
Think it was Kenneth Horne who invented the Department of Administrative Affairs without Portfolio ... suspect still exists today under an equally obscure title.
Many thanks John.
Further up this track "road" they have designated by finger sign a "bridle way" which added to our confusion.
I'm guessing that this is a road that is currently subject to an order to record it on the definitive map as a BOAT.
BOAT's were introduced in 1968 to remedy the mischief of using the Definitve Map to under record established public motor roads as RUPP's (Road Used as Public Path), or worse still, footpath or bridleway.
Use of a finger sign - "Bridleway" doesn't designate the status of the road. It just relates to what is shown on the Definitive Map. The information of the Definitive Map is "without prejudice to the existence of higher rights" of access. The definitive map ONLY records the existence of rights - it does not record the non-existence of them, although a great deal of effort has been made by those with anti access agendas to misinform the public otherwise.
Legislation in 2006 introduced a mechanism whereby the definitive map could be presumed to be correct for the purposes of prosecuting motorists. However, this is only a presumption and that presumption is flimsy at best in many cases.
John is correct in saying that these G-Roads, as they are known, have recently been taken under the management of WSCC RoW Team. As highway authority they have a duty to sign a RoW from where it meets a metalled road. As the status of these routes will be decided on the evidence on a case by case basis (John provides one example) the signs put up in the meantime state the ambiguous "public way".
Agreed that there is a duty to sign Rights of Way. However this duty doesn't impose a duty to sign Roads.
People have rights (of way), Roads do not.
This is why Unclassified County Roads/G Roads/Public Roads were generally not recorded on the Defintive Map.
The mischief of recording Public Carriageways on the definitve map was considered by the Gosling Committee in the 60's, which reccomended that they all be taken off the definitive map and be recorded as County Roads on the Highway Authorities List of Streets. This reccomendation was ignored in favour of reclassifying as BOAT or downgrading under a suitability test to bridlepath. However this legislation was abused with many carriageways being illegally downgraded to footpath and much access was stolen from the public. The misuse of the definitive map to deny access gathered much momentum, which was gained in no small part by the introduction of ambiguous terms. One wonders why WSCC are repeating the pattern?
If a Public Road is partially recorded on the definitve map then there is a statutory duty to sign it. However, the statute concerned (s.27 Countryside Act 1968) only requires that paths and byways are signed from "....where they leave a metalled road.."
"Mettaling" includes making up of the road surface with hard stone/flints - it doesn't only mean tarmaccing.
Many "G - roads" are mettalled for their entire length. There is no statutory requirement to sign them.
I've no objection in principle to the use of signs on mettalled roads where they improve access for the public.
In the example that Bruce gives it's apparent that they have introduced yet another confusing term for a Public Road. Introducing the ambiguous term "Public Way" isn't of benefit. SDNPA is required to add value to the countryside. WSCC have reduced value with it's ill advised signage.
Given that respected bodies, such as the Rights of Way Review Committee and Byways and Bridleway Trust, are advocating that the term "Public Road" be retained and standardised signage prescribed nationally, it's dissapointing that ambiguous and confusing terms are being used in SDNP.
The term "Public Way" isn't used in Hamps section of SDNP or E Sx.
Essentially this is a problem of (not the current) central goverments making. It falls to them to fix the mess by setting a minimum national standard for Public Road signage, as has been done for rights of way signage.
I agree that there is no conclusive evidence that these Public Roads are all of carriageway status. Given that they are all of presumptive carriageway status, and that anyone wishing to challenge this would have to rebut this by proving that they had never been used by the public with any form of vehicle (motorised, horse and cart, bicycle) then I fail to see the benefit to the public in applying a very costly and contentious legal process to them. It's not even clear that they can be added to the definitve map in some cases as these Public Roads do not meet the character and user tests for BOAT status. Applications to downgrade these Public Roads to BOATs will invite objections from motorists and anti - motorists.
I find the notion remarkable, given that neighbouring ESCC has just laid off 2 Rights of Way officers due to lack of funds, note that ESCC accept and support the presumption that their Public Roads are presumptive carriageways. I assume WSCC will find funding for this venture at the expense of performing other duties?
WSCC has a backlog of unprocessed BOAT claims dating to the 1990's. There is no need to add to this backlog.
Many thanks to you all .
Sometimes the answer can be more confusing than the reason for the original question. My view was that a Public Way is open to all the public by whatever means of transport, although hopefully not all in satnavs for large lorries.
Well said by John V, whose knowledge is immense.
Correct and indeed visual guidance signage will reduce confusion for all users. Whilst confirming status maybe on going for some roads, better and clearer signage that is consistent throughout the SDNP is required.