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A Guide to Finding Legal 'Offroad' Routes

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Joe
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PostPosted: 18:30 - 02 Jan 2009    Post subject: A Guide to Finding Legal 'Offroad' Routes Reply with quote

I saw a post on the Honda Trail Bike Forums by Mad Cow and thought it would be useful to be posted here, with Mad Cow's permission. I've added bits here and there from the TRF.

Finding Legal 'Greenlanes'


Although technically there is no legal definition of a greenlane it is generally accepted to be a road without a sealed surface. This can be anything from sand, mud, gravel, even underwater.

The term 'Offroad' is a bit misleading as greenlanes are subject to the same laws as all roads - the bike must be fully road-legal. Any trail rider must:

    # have a valid motorcycle rider's licence;
    # display a current road vehicle licence (tax disc);
    # have a valid MoT certificate of road-worthiness;
    # have valid standard road-use insurance for the motorcycle;
    # wear a helmet.


The two basic ones you can legally ride are firstly:

Byways Open to All Traffic, also known as B.O.A.T.s or just "Byways"

Marked on OS Maps as alternating dashes and crosses

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

In red at 1:50,000 scale (Landranger Maps) or

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Green at 1:25,000 scale (Explorer Maps)

These are the only "Rights of Way" open to motor vehicles, the following are NO GO for any vehicle:

Footpaths ..........................

Bridleways-------------------

RUPPS (Now called Restricted Byways) _ __ _ __ _ __ _ __ _ __

OK now to the second "track" that's legal for motor vehicles:

You will know about A roads (RED), B Roads (Brown) but there are also C,D,E and F class roads shown in Yellow. Below these and usually unsurfaced (so of interest to us) are Unclassied Roads.

Usually called Unclassified County Roads, also known as "UCRs" or "White Roads". Shown on OS Maps as a road but in white (as opposed to Red, Brown or Yellow).

_________________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_________________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Solid lines means fences/walls/hedges, dotted lines if its open country.

Now marked on OS Maps as "ORPA" (Other Route With Public Access) by a series of larger round dots printed over the road (red or green as above).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(OK I know they're square dots but you get the idea) if there is no road marked, only dots be prepared for a vague route across open countryside.

Check out the TRAILWISE website for specific information. Use Search/View to find lanes, the "Find Tracks Near a Place" function is very useful. This can bring up Google Maps of a specified area, the brown and red tracks are the ones you want.

In addition to the Map info if you arrive at a lane that seems to be legal on the map but shows this sign

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t9/MadCowPhotos/miscellaneous%20stuff/Copyofa024.jpg

It has a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) on it and you can't ride it.

If it is the version of the sign with just the car (no bike) you can still ride it.

If you arrive at a Unclassified Country Road (White Road / ORPA / UCR) and find this sign:

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t9/MadCowPhotos/miscellaneous%20stuff/P4061340.jpg

Don't worry, it means that it IS a legal road, just not recommended for ROAD cars or bikes.

In an increasingly overcrowded and environment conscious world the trail rider's back is to the wall. We must all do our bit for public relations -- no-one else will do that job. The easy solution to the problem of inconsiderate behaviour, in the eyes of the public, is a complete ban on all recreational vehicles on Greenlanes. Make sure you help reverse this prejudiced view, and do nothing to reinforce it.

Hope that all makes sense Thumbs Up Very Happy
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Zedxfarin
Nova Slayer



Joined: 17 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: 21:56 - 18 Mar 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

I shure your right. Taking the risk of riding flat out in a no ride zone is half the fun. fook the police thay cant catch you unless they have a chopper right? Twisted Evil

You can get away with it up in the highlands like, I took a TY8O from Daviot to Inverness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzzMecbhVeE
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G
The Voice of Reason



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PostPosted: 22:02 - 18 Mar 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

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MarJay
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PostPosted: 22:06 - 18 Mar 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

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carvell
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PostPosted: 22:10 - 18 Mar 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

And if you want to have a look at an OS map for where you are planning to go:

http://maps.the-hug.net/

Vast majority of maps on there are 1:50,000 (landranger). Areas of interest, such as the lake district, are 1:25,000.

You can also use that site to create a GPX route which you can then export to your GPS or load into Google Earth.
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Charlie
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PostPosted: 22:26 - 18 Mar 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would like to link this to, very useful.

http://www.trailwise.org.uk/

Or to go straight to their google map version...

http://www.trailwise.org.uk/gmaps/gmap.htm
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benlooker
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PostPosted: 17:48 - 26 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading this post i found one of these near me, theres quite a few actually,

Usually called Unclassified County Roads, also known as "UCRs" or "White Roads". Shown on OS Maps as a road but in white (as opposed to Red, Brown or Yellow).

_________________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_________________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


They all have gates at some point, most been just on the main road side and over the gate i can see the road, just to clarify, is it legal for me to pass through the gates?

If i get shot by the farmer do i have a pretty good case for some compo?!
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Joe
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PostPosted: 10:18 - 18 Sep 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

This site looks rather good

http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm
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S
Nitrous Nuisance



Joined: 08 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: 13:03 - 09 Oct 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wait wait wait

I'm almost giddy.

Quote:

Usually called Unclassified County Roads, also known as "UCRs" or "White Roads". Shown on OS Maps as a road but in white (as opposed to Red, Brown or Yellow).

_________________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_________________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Solid lines means fences/walls/hedges, dotted lines if its open country.


You absolutely sure we can legally use these? I googled loads of stuff last week and found nothing.


Edit: Ok back to google:

Quote from http://www.muddypluggers.co.uk/green.html
Quote:
White roads - there are many minor roads shown on OS map in white. (i.e. not coloured.) They may have continuous, single or double-dotted defining lines (indicating the presence or absence of walls or fences) but these do not all necessarily have public vehicular rights. You cannot tell the true status of 'white roads' just by looking at them! Many UCRs are shown as 'white roads' but not all 'white roads' are UCRs.


Quote from http://www.imba.org.uk/PRoW/PRoW_FAQs.html#question5

Quote:
"White roads" are the tracks and lanes coloured white rather than yellow on Ordnance Survey maps.

They are also called green lanes because they often have grass, and you may also hear them mentioned as UUCR's - Unsurfaced Unclassified Roads.

Some of these routes are private tracks, and we have no right to use them. Others are roads which can be found on the highways maps at your local Highway Authority.

However, although all Highway Authorities agree that we can cycle on "yellow" roads, some will not confirm that their "white roads" are legal for cyclists.

Fortunately, many of these roads are now shown by Ordnance Survey as "Other routes with public access" which at least means they are publicly owned. IMBA's view is that you can cycle on these unless the Highway Authority provides evidence that only walkers can use them.

There is one other confusing factor. Some of these roads are "dual purpose" - they can be roads AND footpaths at the same time, and may be shown as footpaths only. Again you have to check your Highway Authority map to identify any such "footpaths" which may legally be cycled.


Quote from http://www.ramblers.org.uk/rights_of_way/knowledge_portal/advice_notes/byways_restricted_byways_and_tracks.htm

this is on a rambler website!

Quote:

Ordnance Survey (OS) map will show lots of uncoloured tracks, commonly referred to as "white roads". Because the OS map does not provide conclusive evidence about the existence of public rights (only the definitive map does this), it is not always possible to tell whether white roads carry public rights.

7. Some white roads will be public and some will be private. Those of them which are public (i.e. they have been 'adopted' by the relevant highway authority - the county council or unitary authority for the area) are commonly depicted on OS maps as white roads with green or red dots, and referred to in the key as ORPAs (other routes with public access). You can't tell what public rights subsist over an ORPA (i.e. whether there's a right of way on foot only, or whether 'higher' rights - such as a right of way on horseback, or in a vehicle - subsist), only that there must at least be a public right of way on foot.



This Welsh goverment website (.gov.uk) sheds the following on the white roads:

Quote:

Most roads on OS 1:50000 maps are coloured according to their category, as identified in the key/legend. However, some minor ways may be left uncoloured. These are known informally as “White Roads.” The OS has consistently felt unable to identify the status of these minor ways which are described as “other road, drive or track.”


I think basically the answer is "maybe". But it could fall on private land.

Depends how brave you are. If the map marks it as a white road, and there's no signage saying otherwise help yourself unless told otherwise?

If they wanted to keep you out there would be a gate/sign.

Thoughts?

Anyone else shed any light? Please someone tell me I can legally drive on every single one...I'm close to doing a sex wee. But I don't think it's true Sad

Os map says "other road, drive, or track"
http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/products/50kraster/pdf/50K_English_Legend_March08.pdf
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Pussy Magnet
Scooby Slapper



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PostPosted: 06:41 - 25 Oct 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks joe found this very helpful to find a byway to ride my crunch down Smile thanks a lot
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S
Nitrous Nuisance



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PostPosted: 19:02 - 15 Jun 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Probably) 90% of white roads aren't ridable.

FYI

Other than that this information is pretty solid

my byway database might help, aptly addressed www.bywaydatabase.com
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G
The Voice of Reason



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PostPosted: 12:08 - 17 Jul 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note that bing maps now offer the option to display OS maps: http://www.bing.com/maps/ (zoom in a bit click 'Road' then select 'Ordnance Survey Map' - if it's greyed out, you need to zoom in more/less.)
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Wafer_Thin_Ham
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PostPosted: 11:41 - 13 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

S wrote:
(Probably) 90% of white roads aren't ridable.

FYI

Other than that this information is pretty solid

my byway database might help, aptly addressed www.bywaydatabase.com


How do you know it's about 90%, or is that just stuff you've investigated in your area??
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Fizzer Thou
World Chat Champion



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PostPosted: 09:55 - 26 Aug 2011    Post subject: Reply with quote

UCRs should be on the LoS or 'List of Streets'.A visit to the County Council Offices should shed some light on any that you have spotted on an OS map.Sometimes UCRs that I have come across in Kent have been shown thus ------ .These warrant a look on the ground,and many of them have a sign saying 'Unsuitable for Vehicles',a sign which was suggested to be erected at each end of such an unmade/unsurfaced road,so as to deter cage drivers from driving their family saloons along them and getting stuck.I seem to remember that it was suggested by the Warboys Commission.

The advice about the TRO (Traffic Regulation Order) is good.Except that should the sign not be there at either end,then the Order ceases to be from that direction.
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BigGun1
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PostPosted: 20:49 - 14 Oct 2011    Post subject: Reply with quote

S wrote:
(Probably) 90% of white roads aren't ridable.

FYI

Other than that this information is pretty solid

my byway database might help, aptly addressed www.bywaydatabase.com


If we ask nicely would you do Cornwall too??
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peter.rounce
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PostPosted: 21:40 - 19 Mar 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

..and check out my byway map..

Byway Map
http://bywaymap.com

Very Happy
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pete63
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PostPosted: 17:58 - 14 Apr 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter.rounce wrote:
..and check out my byway map..

Byway Map
http://bywaymap.com

Very Happy


Interesting map. What are the colour codes? I assume red is no longer available. The 2 in NW Maidenhead are now restricted byways.
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peter.rounce
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PostPosted: 09:16 - 26 Feb 2013    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks

green are BOATs / UCRs
red are RBs

orange are unknown
there are not may of these now but they used to be byways and
more up to date information isn't yet available
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F2racerlady
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PostPosted: 11:24 - 30 Dec 2013    Post subject: Reply with quote

White roads shown on OS maps are sometimes private roads - the OS map doesn't make a distinction. I am in Mid Wales, and the OS maps are fairly accurate with ORPAs being UCRs which are legal to ride.

Joining the Trail Riders Fellowship www.trf.org.uk might be a good idea. Local groups usually organise rideouts, and many allow a non-member to join a ride before coughing up his money!

Information about riding legally is hard to find on t'internet because the situation is always changing and is compllicated by laws going back to 1949. So meeting local riders who already have the knowledge is very useful.

Also the TRF have good info on your rights - e.g. did you know that only a policeman in uniform has the right to stop you? I am courteous in that I do stop if I meet another user who wants me to, but if they will not listen to me, then I have no hesitation in riding off.

Most police are ignorant of the law, and the threat of confiscation of your vehicle is often used inappropriately. Police often ignore the fact that they can only threaten you with confiscation (S.59), if you were riding on "land not forming part of a road" or a "footpath, bridleway or restricted byway" AND "causing distress" to other persons in the vicinity.

We are lucky that Mid Wales is good for riding!

Marianne
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shane rutherford
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PostPosted: 08:30 - 02 Aug 2015    Post subject: new to it Reply with quote

haven't been green lane riding before did a lot of mx wen younger and rode bike on rd ever since live in telford looking to go for a ride out welshpool way how do i plan my route Laughing
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