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GLEAM definitive map modification order policy

February 2021

  1. Definitive map modification orders (DMMOs) which add, upgrade or (in rare cases) downgrade or delete public rights of way are based on evidence of dedication of a public right of way by the landowner or creation or deletion of a public right of way under statutory powers (e.g. an inclosure award or a government order). Until the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (NERCA) was passed in 2006, evidence of public vehicular rights (e.g. a historic dedication for horse-drawn vehicles) automatically resulted in either byway open to all traffic (BOAT) status or all-purpose carriageway (ordinary public road) status.
  2. GLEAM’s constitution states that its “aims are to ensure that unsurfaced highways carrying public rights of way (other than those already classified as footpaths or bridleways in accordance with the law) are preserved from damage caused by motorised vehicles of all kinds.” This makes it clear that that GLEAM’s purpose is to protect green lanes (unsealed highways) from damage (interpreted broadly to include disturbance to non-motorised users as well as surface damage) from motor vehicle users. It does so through existing legal methods (i.e. traffic regulation orders, or DMMOs or other legal methods of changing the status of highways) and by seeking a change in the law (extinguishment of presumed public motor vehicular rights on unsealed publicly maintainable highways not on the definitive map, as GLEAM proposed for the Deregulation Bill).
  3. GLEAM does not try to argue that there are no public rights of way over green lanes, because if the green lanes are indeed highways, then, by definition, they have public rights of way of some sort.
  4. GLEAM, as an organisation, may get involved in the DMMO process (and other legal processes which change highway status) if, by doing so, it has a reasonable chance of (i) preventing an unsealed highway being recorded as a BOAT, or (ii) downgrading an existing BOAT to a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway. Where downgrading to a footpath is the outcome, GLEAM recognises that this may disappoint equestrians and cyclists.
  5. If GLEAM members get involved in other DMMO cases, they will make it clear that they are doing so as individuals, not as representatives of GLEAM, and they will also try to ensure that they do not give the impression, in taking part in other cases, that they are following GLEAM policy in doing so.
  6. GLEAM’s (and its members’) successes with DMMOs (and other legal processes changing highway status) and traffic regulation orders, i.e. protecting green lanes from misuse by recreational motor vehicles, will be publicised e.g. via the GLEAM newsletter, AGM and website, and via the press and other media where appropriate.
  7. GLEAM Committee members and GLEAM advisers will share information on the outcomes of potential BOAT DMMOs and applications for downgrading BOATs in their areas at least annually, for monitoring and mutual assistance.