Cyclists waymarking routes where councils are failing

Discussion in 'Advocacy and Cycling Safety' started by mjr, 8 Mar 2019.

  1. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    I was wondering again about cyclists waymarking routes (putting up small arrow stickers like you see for footpaths and bridleways) where councils are failing to signpost them.

    I found this from the Ramblers: https://www.ramblers.org.uk/advice/...nposts-waymarks-and-unauthorised-notices.aspx which points at the law https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1980/66/section/132 against "unauthorised marks on highways" unless you have "lawful authority or reasonable excuse".

    Does anyone know if a longstanding failure of the highways department to waymark any cycle routes between some towns (or authorise anyone to do it) would be a "reasonable excuse" for cyclists to do it for themselves? What is considered a "reasonable excuse" under that section? Has it happened anywhere? Most of the places I suspect people would be inclined to do it, such as Bristol, I think already have councils doing it. I found no relevant case law on bailii.org but I'm not great at using it.

    Thanks in advance for any pointers or experiences.
     
  2. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    Leave yourself open to prosecution from the landowner(where it's other than the council) and from the council(s) as well.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Not me - I'm exploring the possibilities and have no plans to do this myself if the law is clearly against us. I feel I'm too likely a suspect these days, so I ask people not to tell me who does these things, like I don't know who did the excellent public service of cutting a hole through a nearby fence obstructing National Cycle Route 1.

    I would expect/hope they would not affix anything to private property, like advised to Belgian RV waymarkers, so landowners could not prosecute, and "reasonable excuse" would prevent council prosecution - but what is "reasonable excuse" here?

    Anyway, even if they get it wrong, it's only £100 maximum fine for a first offence, plus it should be a lot of bad publicity for the council, wasting money prosecuting cyclists doing their job for them. I suspect some activists might risk that.

    Relatedly, do all sportives get lawful authority for their signs? Have any ever been fined for their signs? Or for leaving them up for months/years afterwards?
     
  4. Glow worm

    Glow worm Guru

    Location:
    Near Newmarket
    Is that the absurd monstrosity next to the A149 near Babingley? If so- bravo whoever did that!
    Note to self, no need to bring saw now next time I'm passing through there!
     
  5. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    You've a legal right to remove any obstruction blocking a PROW.
     
  6. Glow worm

    Glow worm Guru

    Location:
    Near Newmarket
    If its the thing I'm thinking of, it doesn't block the PROW completely but forces cyclists into a very awkward chicane- must be near impossible with a trailer. It's downright dangerous, especially at night. It's a pretty robust wooden fence and kicking it really hard has no effect. Erm.....apparently. :whistle:
     
    Pat "5mph", DCBassman and classic33 like this.
  7. OP
    OP
    mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    That's the one. 1m wide tarmac, three zero radius corners, sharp 2" drops off the tarmac edge into soft verges covered by nettles, brambles and rocks. I've seen experienced riders crash after the slightest wet leaves skid there.

    I wonder how long before the landowner repairs the anti-child-trailer obstruction. So far, I've only heard people denying removing it!
     
    Glow worm likes this.
  8. mustang1

    mustang1 Veteran

    Location:
    London, UK
    I deleted my post because of the typos, I can't even make sense of what I wrote.

    Spell checker: another Google product that's always "under development". Now I turned my spell checker off .Thanks and sorry for my annoying post.
     
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2019
    classic33 likes this.
  9. Phaeton

    Phaeton Guru

    Location:
    Oop North (ish)
    Problem is when the obstruction is deliberate & so large it can't be moved, it's taken me 5 months of pestering to get the council to get this moved.

    20181024_173113.jpg 20181024_173120.jpg 20181024_173130.jpg
     
  10. Spinney

    Spinney Bimbleur extraordinaire

    Location:
    Under the Edge
    Your autocorrect is doing wonderful things!
     
    mustang1 and classic33 like this.
  11. Drago

    Drago Guru

    This is the Ramblers. When I was a beat Bobby the local decent folk wanted a particular alley way closed. No decent folk used it, it was essentially a place one went to purchase drugs or get relieved of their wallet. It went nowhere useful, and the nearest alternative route added about 15 seconds to ones walk.

    Support was overwhelming, with not a single resident dissenting. I did loads of paperwork, appeared before the planning committee, got the parish, borough and county councillors on side...

    ...only for the ignorant, interfering, smug twit busybodies from the Ramblers to block it for no other reason that because they could.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    But police mainly see the bad experiences on a route, the Ramblers shouldn't be able to block it without a sound legal reason, 15 seconds for an able bodied person might be longer for someone walking with a stick and one person's "decent folk" are another person's "smug twit busybodies".
     
  13. Drago

    Drago Guru

    Ah, but they did block it. A trained and legally funded rambler from Nottingham, 80 miles away, who specialises in blocking routes from being closed was able to present a more compelling legal case than the determined but greatly inexpert me. As a result the democratic wishes of an entire estate were overruled by someone who had never even visited it, who did not live there, and had no actual interest or involvement in life there, because they were able to persuade the planning committee that diverting a route by the width of two houses was unreasonable for the elderly and infirm. Never mind that the elderly and infirm were supporting my efforts, that alone is insufficient in law, I had to legally negate that claim - without civil legal training of my own, or funding for a solicitor, I could not do so.

    So the drug dealers carried on, the robberies continued, and the occasional stabbing still occurred. You can bet the rambler concerned never visited the estate after the planning hearing. The Ramblers were interfering with peoples lives for no reason whatsoever that I could establish.
     
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2019
  14. OP
    OP
    mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Sounds rather like you got done over by a lack of support from the council PROW officers, who should have been able to put the Rambler objection in its legal context.

    Anyway, returning to the sheep: was the footpath waymarked? ;)
     
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