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What is a right of way?

A right of way is a path that anyone has the legal right to use on foot, and sometimes using other modes of transport.

  • Public footpaths are open only to walkers
  • Public bridleways are open to walkers, horse-riders and pedal cyclists
  • Restricted byways are open to walkers, horse-riders, and drivers/riders of non-motorised vehicles (such as horse-drawn carriages and pedal cycles)
  • Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATs) are open to all classes of traffic including motor vehicles, though they may not be maintained to the same standard as ordinary roads
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