Who can use bridleways? l Employment contracts l Riding on common land l Who’s liable after an accident? l What to wear out hacking l Riding two abreast on the road
What’s the law regarding off-road vehicles and bridleways? I seem to see so many 4x4s and motorbikes on a local track at the moment! Angela Bates, Lancashire
On a bridleway, you are allowed to ride or lead a horse. Walkers and cyclists are also allowed to use bridleways, but cyclists must give way to horses, riders and walkers. Restricted bridleways can be used by all nonmechanically propelled traffic, such as a horse-drawn carriage. It’s an offence to drive a mechanically powered or motorised vehicle, such as a quad or scrambler bike, on a bridleway or restricted bridleway. It doesn’t matter if the driver has a valid driving licence and insurance — driving on a bridleway is still illegal.
Meeting illegal traffic
Firstly, your horse and your own safety should come first. Don’t do anything that would put you or your horse in danger — and I would not recommend challenging the driver. If you feel threatened, phone the police using 999 and report the driver as soon as possible. If it’s safe to do so, take a photo of the off-road vehicle or try to make a note (mental or written) of: The make, model and colour of the off-road vehicle The registration number (if there is one) and any distinguishing features The approximate time and location of the incident A description of the driver and what they were wearing As soon as it’s safe to do so, contact your local police station (ring 101) to report the incident. If the driver on a bridleway is caught in the act by police and warned to stop their antisocial conduct and they don’t, then their vehicle can be seized by the police. Drivers are liable to be prosecuted for driving vehicles dangerously or carelessly on a bridleway or road, and may be fined.