Terminology

A list of cycle route terminology and definitions.

BOAT: “Byway open to all traffic”. A carriageway, i.e. a right of way for vehicular traffic, but one which is used mainly for the purpose for which footpaths and bridleways are used, i.e. by walkers and horse riders.

Bridleway: A highway over which the public have right of way by foot, bicycle and horseback (unless banned by a Bye Law), possibly with an additional right to drive animals.

Byway: A way over which the right of way is on foot, on horseback, on pedal cycles and in or on vehicles (horse-drawn or motorised).

Carriageway: A highway or part of a highway over which the public have a right of way for vehicles.

CROW Act: The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, which, among many other measures, created “Restricted Byways”.

Cycle lane: Part of the carriageway of a highway that is identified for use by cycles.

Cycle Lane Advisory: Part of the carriageway of a highway that is identified for use by cycles, but can also be used by other vehicles. They have no legal force. Parking in the lane can not be prevented unless separate restrictions exist. They can be introduced without a traffic regulation order and are indicated on the carriageway by dashed white lines and cycle symbols plus signing.

Cycle Lane Contra Flow: Part of the carriageway of a highway, usually mandatory, where pedal cycles are permitted to proceed in the opposite direction to other traffic. A traffic regulation order is required.

Cycle Lane Mandatory: Part of the carriageway of a highway that may not be used by vehicles other than pedal cycles. Cyclists are not compelled to stay in them. A traffic regulation order is required and they are indicated on the carriageway by a solid white line and cycle symbols plus signing. The width to be at least 1.5m.

Cycle Path: Common term for any path provided for use only by cyclists or cyclists and pedestrians, whether or not it is legally a Cycle Track.

Cycle Path Unsegregated: A path where cyclists and pedestrians share the whole width. The width of the path to be at least 2.0m

Cycle Path Segregated
: A path where part of the width is designated for use by cyclists. The width of the path to be at least 3.0m

Cycle Route: “Advisory cycle route” consists solely of signing along roads. “Cycle Route” can also take in a complete route with sections of varying standards i.e. incorporating roads with or without lanes in the carriageway, sections of Cycle Track, bridleways, cycle crossings and junction improvements such as advanced stop lines.

Cycle Track: A path for cyclists (with or without pedestrians) which is dedicated as a highway. It is not a cycle lane in the carriageway. It can be away from roads or run in verge, including conversions from footways under the Highways Act 1980. It can also be created by conversion from a public footpath by an order under the Cycle Tracks Act 1984

Cycle Way: Common term for any path provided for use only by cyclists or cyclists and pedestrians, whether or not it is legally a Cycle Track.

Drove Road or Driftway
: A way over which there is the right to drive animals. A carriageway carries the right of Driftway, but a Driftway does not carry the right of carriageway.

Footpath: A highway over which the public have a right of way on foot only, not being a footway.

Footway: A way comprised in a highway which also comprises a carriageway, being a way over which the public have a right of way on foot only.

Highway: Best defined at common law as a way over which the public have a right to pass and repass. The use of the way must be as of right, not on sufferance or by licence. May be surfaced or unsurfaced.

Pedal Cycle: A unicycle, bicycle or cycle having three or more wheels, not being in any case mechanically propelled unless it is a electrically assisted pedal cycle of such a class as it is to be treated as not being a motor vehicle for the purposes of the 1984 Act. HMSO (1994) TSRGD.

Public Right of Way: As for highway, though by convention excluding roads normally used by motor vehicles. Strictly, there is a distinction in that the ‘right’ is an abstract thing, whereas the ‘highway’ is a strip of land.

Restricted Byways: Under the CROW Act all rights of way previously classified as RUPPs will be open to the pedestrians, horse riders, pedal cyclists and horse drawn vehicles only. But this will not preclude challenge under S.53 to permit motorised vehicles also.

Road: Any length of highway or any other road to which the public have access, and includes bridges over which the road passes. The public may access as of right or by permission of the landowner.

RUPP: “Road used a Public path”. A way conclusively with bridleway rights unless vehicular rights can be proved to exist upon it. Every RUPP is required under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to be reclassified as a BOAT, a bridleway or a footpath. Where it is still shown as a RUPP, the reclassification has not yet been carried out. See Restricted Byways above.

TRO: “Traffic Regulation Order”. A very flexible order that may be made by the local highway authority to control traffic on highways of any kind. May be applied to any section or length of a highway to control width, weight or speed of vehicle or to forbid vehicular traffic altogether. Can be temporary, permanent or seasonal.

UCR: “Unclassified County Road”. a highway maintainable at public expense, other than a way such as an A, B or C road. Further evidence from elsewhere is needed to establish conclusively the existence of vehicular rights on a case-by-case basis.

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981: (WCA81) Section 53 of this act sets out the duty of each highway authority to keep the definitive map and statement, showing all highways in its area, under continuous review. Section 54 sets out the duty to reclassify every RUPP as a BOAT, a bridleway or a footpath.

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