HC Deb 06 July 1994 vol 246 cc242-3W
Ms Janet Anderson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will make a statement about progress on the Pennine bridleway.

Mr. Atkins

The Countryside Commission submitted to the Secretary of State its supplementary report outlining revised proposals for the bridleway on 1 July last year. Following further necessary consultation, I am presently considering the matter and I expect to anounce my decision shortly.

Mr. Hunter

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to ensure that droveways fall within the right of way in common law known as bridleways; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins

I am not convinced that legislation is either necessary or appropriate. At common law, not every droveway is also a bridleway, and not every bridleway is also subject to the right to drive beasts. Where there is a public right of way for vehicles, bridleway and droveway rights would normally be included. However where, for example, old maps show a route as a "droveway", or "driftway", it is not to be assumed from that alone that a public right of way for vehicles also exists. In all cases where the correct classification of a public right of way is in issue, all available and relevant evidence must be considered to establish the exact nature of the rights the public have acquired.

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