Forum home Mountain biking forum Routes, rides and holidays Routes

right of way in the Lakes

bluechair84bluechair84 Posts: 4,352
edited July 2011 in Routes
I'm wanting to tackle Scafell Pike on the bike - hike-a-bike up Lingmell Gyll to come back down. I walked it recently and just couldn't stop eyeing up lines. But how legal is it? Does anyone know the rights of way in the Lakes?
Cheers
«13

Posts

  • Tank-slapperTank-slapper Posts: 968
    It isn't legal and you will pee off a lot of people.
  • Matt_Matt_ Posts: 82
    Go and do it in an evening. There will be no one about. Be interested to hear what its like if you do it!

    I always go on the rule that after 6pm anything is fair game...
    Current Bikes:
    2010 Trek Fuel EX8
    2009 Specialized Allez Sport
    2006 Scott Reflex 20

    Lakes Mountain Bike Routes
  • sniper68sniper68 Posts: 2,899
    The Lakes is like the rest of England/Wales,BW's OK,FP's No-OK so as It's all FP's there's technically no right of way,which is why Helvellyn is classed as the highest legal English 3000 footer :roll:
    I've always been a bit of a Footpath Nazi but I'm getting a bit pi$$ed at the access laws especially as there won't be a review on the 1968 ROW act until at least 2026 :roll: and even then it's doubtful that the rest of the UK will have open access like the riders North of the border have :?
  • busta gonadbusta gonad Posts: 162
    You have no legal right to ride on a footpath, this doesn't mean you can't, the land owner could ask you to leave, as long as you are courteous to other users, just go ahead and ride, give way to walkers and be polite, no problem.

    It is a civil matter, you are not breaking the law, you just don't have a legal right to be there, on a bicycle, it is not trespass and is covered by crow. The law is an censored .
  • trailpuppettrailpuppet Posts: 381
    Lots of people pushing the boundaries these days, have a peek at youtube for Skiddaw/ullok pike vids.

    Just go do it :arrow:
  • bluechair84bluechair84 Posts: 4,352
    So what are the ramifications of riding illegally on footpaths? Is there a fine? Do you just get asked to leave? Community service in the form of rebuilding the footpath?
    I'm a courteous rider and am confident I won't piss anyone off unless they are fascists and take an instant dislike to bikers... but the hike up there with a 35pound rig will take long enough to be noticed by anyone who might care to call in the rangers.
  • busta gonadbusta gonad Posts: 162
    You are not riding ilegaly, you have no legal right, there is a difference. no one can fine you, there has never been a prosecution in the UK, you could be the first! the erosion issue is an emotive one, if you ride responsibly there is little difference when compared to walkers. There is also no beef with the majority of walkers, the minority of little Hitlers have no right to do anything, just smile and be on your way.
  • stimpy_76stimpy_76 Posts: 43
    Riding a bicycle on a footpath is a criminal offence for which you can be prosecuted in court and fined.

    It would be the same as riding a horse on a footpath or driving a car on a bridleway. They are all the same criminal offence and all subject to prosecution and fines.

    It is not a simple matter of trespass.

    Unless (Busta) you are a qualified and practising lawyer, like I am, I'd not venture your opinion(s) on this and let others end up in court as a result.

    The only issue is whether or not action is taken against you, but in theory you are committing a criminal offence by riding a bicycle on a public footpath.

    Bicycles are only permitted on bridleways, restricted byways, byways open to all traffic (BOATs), roads used as public paths (RUPPs), highways and of course dedicated cycle paths.
    Commuter MTB FCN 12
    XC MTB FCN 9
  • busta gonadbusta gonad Posts: 162
    Wrong civil offence not criminal, there has never been a prosecution, unless you would like to prove me wrong.
  • Matt_Matt_ Posts: 82
    edited June 2011
    If someone was kicking off about me riding on a footpath then I wouldn't be stopping to chat or give my name. And not like a bike has registration plates to trace you.
    Current Bikes:
    2010 Trek Fuel EX8
    2009 Specialized Allez Sport
    2006 Scott Reflex 20

    Lakes Mountain Bike Routes
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    As Mr Gonad said, not a criminal offence.
    And as for pushing the bike up - you are a pedestrian at that point.
    Just ride down quickly before the landowner chases you off.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • angry_birdangry_bird Posts: 3,782
    Isn't it that footways i.e. pavements and footpaths are different in terms of there legal status. Cycling on the pavement is a criminal offence.

    A footpath is fair game, ride it, but give way to peds and if the landowner tells you to fark off don't complain, it's his land, you don't have the legal right to ride there but it isn't a criminal offence, it's a civil offence, unless there is a specific local bye-law regarding that footpath.
  • busta gonadbusta gonad Posts: 162
    Another lawer that doesn't know his censored from his elbow! what did i say about little Hitlers.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    stimpy_76 wrote:
    Riding a bicycle on a footpath is a criminal offence for which you can be prosecuted in court and fined....

    Unless (Busta) you are a qualified and practising lawyer, like I am, I'd not venture your opinion(s) on this and let others end up in court as a result.

    The only issue is whether or not action is taken against you, but in theory you are committing a criminal offence by riding a bicycle on a public footpath.
    .

    What do you specialise in? I'm guess its not land law.

    Trespass is a civil matter unless its:
    Site of special scientific interest.
    military land
    railway land
    subject to a bylaw or traffic order.
    or you've done it so many times they have a court order on you.

    riding a bicycle on footpath is trespass. I think you are confusing footpaths with footways.
  • angry_birdangry_bird Posts: 3,782
    If someone does stop you and yell at you then you should just start clapping your hands together like a special child and going "arrfff arrfff" and pretend to be a seal.

    Then they'll leave you alone.
  • pikerpiker Posts: 353
    Angry Bird wrote:
    If someone does stop you and yell at you then you should just start clapping your hands together like a special child and going "arrfff arrfff" and pretend to be a seal.

    Then they'll leave you alone.
    Cant wait to put that to the test. :lol::lol:
  • angry_birdangry_bird Posts: 3,782
    piker wrote:
    Angry Bird wrote:
    If someone does stop you and yell at you then you should just start clapping your hands together like a special child and going "arrfff arrfff" and pretend to be a seal.

    Then they'll leave you alone.
    Cant wait to put that to the test. :lol::lol:

    You totally should.

    I accept no responsibility if the person you do this too lands one on you. Especially if it's an old lady with a stick or a big bloke who's only recently been released from prison for some heinous and violent crime.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    More info on the legal position here:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... t=12668448

    I need to edit and update it, as there have been some developments in the unrelated area of civil recovery (e.g. Retail loss prevention which is civil action against shoplifters) which are testing the boundaries of "damages" claims. I have also learned that the pedigree of many footpaths is not clear and open to challenge as there is evidence that plenty of byways were classified incorrectly as footpaths in the 1950s. Not that it matters much.

    There is also a reference to the Countryside Act 1968 which needs to be included as it sets priority.

    In specific response to this thread, the thing you have to watch out for on National parks is specific road traffic regulation orders, as the parks authorities have autonomy to create these, so its much easier for them to do so. The problem you have is some paths are signed without traffic orders, which you can ignore, some are footpaths which were incorrectly designated and some have traffic orders which you cannot.

    It is of course important that any established (20 years +) cycle tracks that are designated footpaths are reported to the authorities, as they are bound by statute to upgrade them.
  • Tank-slapperTank-slapper Posts: 968
    The top part of Lingmell Gill is an SSSI, so it would be highly illegal to ride there. The rest is owned by the National Trust who may well decide to make an example of you and prosecute.

    Also, the path up Lingmell Gill is the main path for walkers climbing and descending Scafell Pike. It is extremely busy all of the time, even after 6pm and, like I said above, you would pee a lot of people off.

    Is it really worth the effort? Why not go over to Lingmell Beck where there are 3 bridleways you can ride legally.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    The rest is owned by the National Trust who may well decide to make an example of you and prosecute. .

    And this is where it gets interesting from a legal point of view. The fact that NT owns the land is irrelevant, they do not have special powers. However, there are two unrelated activities which are starting to get close to setting precedents:

    1) Retail loss prevention schemes are using the investment in security to justify "damages" from shoplifters to enable them to sue shoplifters for £100s, rather than the actual damages suffered. There is a major public fight going on between the CAB and the main RLP company, over who's lawyers have bigger 'nads.

    2) Private CCTV parking enforcers use implied contract to set "penalties" for parking which are largely unenforceable/hard to collect. Since more and more people are ignoring their parking "tickets" they are starting to lose revenue and preparing to make an example to set precedent.

    We only have to see developments in 1 or 2 and it would become quite easy for land owners to use civil remedies to act on "trespass" either by erecting similar signage establishing a contract under 2 or using any precedents of damages under 1 to up the anti.
  • solsurfsolsurf Posts: 489
    Just go and do Helvelyn, its better and legal, the downhill over the back of Raise is brilliant. Please don't do Scafell Pike, it gives us all a bad name. And for those that say its ok after 6 there is always some group walking it doing a "unique three peaks challenge"
  • solsurfsolsurf Posts: 489
    So what are the ramifications of riding illegally on footpaths? Is there a fine? Do you just get asked to leave? Community service in the form of rebuilding the footpath?
    I'm a courteous rider and am confident I won't wee-wee anyone off unless they are fascists and take an instant dislike to bikers... but the hike up there with a 35pound rig will take long enough to be noticed by anyone who might care to call in the rangers.

    Knowing the rangers myself and the LDNPA access guys, they would just tell you that you were in the wrong, they would be more peed off that you are making mountain bikers look rubbish, as most of them are keen (and very good) mountain bikers themselves. I know they are working hard to make access better for all, that includes mountain bikers, by joining up bridleways where possible. So it doesn’t help when the first argument they get back from other groups is “well the mountain bikers do what they want anyway, they should be kept to trail centres”
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    I think that makes a lot of sense. Personally I can't be bothered riding paths that are busy with walkers. You keep having to slow down or stop and can't really relax for fear of someone ahead. Also if you hit someone causing injury, you'd have to work your sox off to dodge a negligence claim and probably could even get done for wanton and furious cycling.

    I think its one thing to ride on an established path or trail without a right of way and another to actively ride on popular walking routes.

    However, the bobble hats do want their cake and eat it. On the one hand they use the law to establish new rights of way on foot based on historic usage, but seem to object to cyclists doing the same? There is definitely a "the countryside is for walkers" mentality which needs to change.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    diy wrote:
    I think that makes a lot of sense. Personally I can't be bothered riding paths that are busy with walkers. You keep having to slow down or stop and can't really relax for fear of someone ahead.
    Very much this.
    As far as my "moral code" (what I have of one) is concerned, anything is fair game, but if I see walkers on somewhere where I have no specific right to be, I'll be polite with them, and give way to them.

    This discussion has come up several times, and I'm almost certain that what seems to be a consistent conclusion is whilst there is no explicit permission for bikes to be used on footpaths, it isn't explicitly mentioned that you can't either. Basically they just don't mention bikes at all.
    (Situation may be different outside of Wales).

    What you have to be careful about though, is places like Snowdon, where, although there is no actual reason not to ride there, there is an agreement set in place that bikes should stay clear during the daytime hours in summer.
    If too many people are seen to be riding there, then they will put a blanket ban in place.
  • busta gonadbusta gonad Posts: 162
    " Please don't do Scafell Pike, it gives us all a bad name. And for those that say its ok after 6 there is always some group walking it doing a "unique three peaks challenge"

    Why would it give mtbr's a bad name, i'm sure people out on the hill are just enjoying themseves, why not cyclists, they are doing no harm, i find on the whole redsocks are quite encouraging when they see a mtber descending, the minority of grumps can eat my dust! Besides i have ridden Helvellyn and want to spread my wings a little, do the trilogy, yeah pick a quitiesh time on a late summers eve, when the ramblers have descended en mass to the tea shops.
  • busta gonadbusta gonad Posts: 162
    Exactly be polite, i think on the whole walkers that understand the legal situation, don't really begrudge the occasional cyclist hell bent on riding down a mountain.
  • solsurfsolsurf Posts: 489
    edited June 2011
    " Please don't do Scafell Pike, it gives us all a bad name. And for those that say its ok after 6 there is always some group walking it doing a "unique three peaks challenge"

    Why would it give mtbr's a bad name, i'm sure people out on the hill are just enjoying themseves, why not cyclists, they are doing no harm, i find on the whole redsocks are quite encouraging when they see a mtber descending, the minority of grumps can eat my dust! Besides i have ridden Helvellyn and want to spread my wings a little, do the trilogy, yeah pick a quitiesh time on a late summers eve, when the ramblers have descended en mass to the tea shops.
    Ok do what you like then
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    solsurf, just a friendly "word in your ear". Your avatar images is likely to attract undesired attention on a mountain biking forum, especially in matters such as these.
  • solsurfsolsurf Posts: 489
    solsurf, just a friendly "word in your ear". Your avatar images is likely to attract undesired attention on a mountain biking forum, especially in matters such as these.

    Hey good point, could be worse, I could be on my road bike!
Sign In or Register to comment.