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The Green Lane Byway

18th May 2006

Ledbury Area Cycle Forum plans to test the new Restricted Byway regulations by claiming the old pack horse route from Ledbury to Worcester as a Restricted Byway. Green Lane connects Church Street and Cut Throat Lane, and forms part of the proposed quiet lane route linking Ledbury to Colwall.

LACF's action comes in response to a new sign purporting to ban horse riders from the lane. The new sign challenges the legal status of the ancient route, so LACF felt it should act to protect the route for future generations of cyclists and horse riders.

To build its case, LACF is assembling evidence from cyclists and horse riders who have used the route over the last 20 years, and backing this up with research into old maps and documents. The claim will then be presented to Herefordshire Council with a request make a Restricted Byway Order. Such an order would ensure that the route remained legal for all cyclists and horse riders to use.

Can You Help?

LACF is asking local cyclists and horse riders to provide supporting evidence to help build the case. We are particularly keen to hear from people who used Green Lane on a bike or a horse in the 80's and 90's, while earlier evidence would be even more helpful. If you have ridden these routes, please visit one of Ledbury's bike shops to fill in a form. Cycles Clements, Powell's Cycles and Saddlebound Cycles all hold copies of the form.

Legal Background

Restricted byways were introduced by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, and the relevant provisions took effect on 2nd May 2006 in order to dovetail with the commencement of parts of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (NERC). As of 2nd May 2006, all routes formerly classed as RUPPs (Roads Used as Public Path) are now Restricted Byways.

Restricted Byways are available to cyclists, horse riders, horse-carriage drivers and walkers - but not to any motorised vehicles. In addition, the provisions of the new NERC act (recently spearheaded by the Cyclists Touring Club following a long campaign) will enable cyclists to claim new Restricted Byways providing they can provide evidence of 20 years of biking without challenge.

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