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Private roads

Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
edited November 2012 in Campaign
So the kids decide they want to cycle to their drama club - it's about 2.5 miles away and they are only 9. We get to a busy road (it's the A6 out of Derby at about 5pm) which imo is way too busy for 9 year olds to ride on so it's either the pavement or a cut through I know exists but have never been down - opt for the latter.

It's a small road between some large houses and half way down there is a gate with private road written on it - it's not locked so i decide to open it and carry on. Just then a woman comes out of her house and gives us the "can't you read" routine - I say why, she says read the sign, I say why don't you tell me what it says, she calls me ignorant etc etc. OK so maybe we shouldn't have been there - I'm guessing probably not though I didn't actually know there was a gate with private road on it when I started out down it.

What is the legal situation with that kind of private road though ? She was so unnecessarily rude i'd love to find out that there was a right of access through there - she doesn't own the road as there are several houses along there. Im assuming I probably have no right to go down there but is there an easy way of finding out ?

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  • dunno for sure how it works but I know roads have to be 'adopted' by the council to be maintained by them. I guess the local highways department would be a good start point they may be able to tell you if it is owned /adopted for maintenence by the residents, if so you may as well have ridden through her kitchen.
  • The ownership of the road is not related to whether or not there's a right of way, so it depends whether the road is a highway.
  • So the kids decide they want to cycle to their drama club - it's about 2.5 miles away and they are only 9. We get to a busy road (it's the A6 out of Derby at about 5pm) which imo is way too busy for 9 year olds to ride on so it's either the pavement or a cut through I know exists but have never been down - opt for the latter.

    It's a small road between some large houses and half way down there is a gate with private road written on it - it's not locked so i decide to open it and carry on. Just then a woman comes out of her house and gives us the "can't you read" routine - I say why, she says read the sign, I say why don't you tell me what it says, she calls me ignorant etc etc. OK so maybe we shouldn't have been there - I'm guessing probably not though I didn't actually know there was a gate with private road on it when I started out down it.

    What is the legal situation with that kind of private road though ? She was so unnecessarily rude i'd love to find out that there was a right of access through there - she doesn't own the road as there are several houses along there. Im assuming I probably have no right to go down there but is there an easy way of finding out ?


    The woman has clearly led a very sheltered life. If she lived in an inner city and tried berating people for cycling down her "private" road there she would run a serious risk of personal injury on a regular basis.
    In future just tell this woman to sue you if she doesn't like you using her road. Besides being pathetically naive she hasn't got a leg to stand on when it comes to turfing you off her "private" land.
  • priorypriory Posts: 743
    can you tell us exactly where it is?

    If there is a gate that would imply that someone thinks there is a right to exclude people, but which people might be interesting.

    A phone call to the highways dept or call in and speak to them might be quicker than tryng to figure it out yourself, provided the opinion you get is accurate , of course.
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  • From what I remember from the law lectures I went to, trespass is tort law so she could only sue you for damage you have caused. I think the "Right of Way" bit only applies to obstructions like locked gates, ditches etc. I believe that it matters not a jot whether it's a private road or not as far as you passing along it causing no harm...
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  • priory wrote:
    can you tell us exactly where it is?

    Yes it's DE22 1AL Burleigh Drive.

    As you suggest I'll probably just email the relevant dept in the council and ask - to be honest I don't want to upset the residents and if I've no right to go down there fair enough - it'd be a useful cut through to avoid a short section of the A6 for the kids but they can always ride on the pavement - it was only a spur of the moment thing to go through there.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • priorypriory Posts: 743
    it looks like there is a woman on that road who is so concerned about the safety of children that she has been active in objecting to an increase in activitty at the nursery at the bottom of the street.

    Perhaps such a public sprited person might look kindly on your request to allow your children a safer route to their class.
    or perhaps not. :wink:

    http://eplanning.derby.gov.uk/acolnet/D ... 123_20.pdf
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  • I wonder why she put '' around 'clients'. The objection seems a bit of a rant
  • beverickbeverick Posts: 3,461
    A solicitor, or the local council, should be able to assist in determining if there is a right of access.

    However, in the absence of a permitted pathway, easement, specific deed or covernant a private road is likely to be just that, private. I suspect that you have no common right to access the land, especially as it was gated. You'd object to someone taking a shortcut down your drive-way wouldn't you and that's what's happening here.

    As an indication, in my first house there was private land to the side of the house owned joint and severally by 21 residents all of whom had common access. There was also an 'easement' in place allowing access for utility and local authorities for maintenance purposes.

    To the rear of the property there was a dead end path with a specific easement for residents along it.

    There was no public right of way.

    Bob
  • k-dogk-dog Posts: 1,652
    Whenever I see those signs - particularly a handdrawn "no turning in this drive" it makes me want to do it.

    Is it really such a problem for you when a couple of kids on bikes pass your house? Or the occasional car turns round outside your property?

    I think it's just a hobby for them - they like to wait and then tell people what to do.
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  • Thin end of the wedge.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    I think the correct response is - sue me. Its trespass at best and I'd like to see her damages. Still if its her private drive then its cheeky to use it as a cut through.
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,433
    I don't know what the issue here is. If it is a privte road, then you have no right to use it as a short cut. I'm sure that you'd be a little p*ssed if she was to use your garden as a short cut ?
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  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    I don't know why you are dragging this up but if you are going to at least read the original post - I was asking how I would find out whether there was a right of way along there - there is no definitive rights of way map for this area. Clearly if it's a private road and there is no right of way then I am not expecting to be able to use it as such ffs.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • mar_kmar_k Posts: 323
    If it was that private the gate would be locked,
    Carry on regardless
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,962
    mar_k wrote:
    If it was that private the gate would be locked,
    Carry on regardless

    Has your front garden got a lock on it? If not, presumably you would be happy for strangers to set up a picnic in it. :lol:
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    mar_k wrote:
    If it was that private the gate would be locked,
    Carry on regardless

    What an awful attitude

    Presumably anything of yours that is not locked up I can use for myself?

    Whatever happened to trust and respect for others?
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  • mar_kmar_k Posts: 323
    I feel my comment has been taken out of context. Im not talking about private gardens, and personnel belongings
    Im talking of through roads, there is one in muswell hill, says 'private road' on it even though there isnt a gate.
    in that instance whats really to stop me walking or cycling through from one end to the next?
    Nothing,
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    mar_k wrote:
    I feel my comment has been taken out of context. Im not talking about private gardens, and personnel belongings
    Im talking of through roads, there is one in muswell hill, says 'private road' on it even though there isnt a gate.
    in that instance whats really to stop me walking or cycling through from one end to the next?
    Nothing,
    if any of your possessions are not locked what is to stop me from using them?


    How about respect for others property and possessions?
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  • mar_kmar_k Posts: 323
    I understand respect for posessions but we are talking about a road,

    Im not trying to be an censored but do you really see cycling or walking down a road as disrepectful to ones property?
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Its not the same thing at all in Law. There is a long list of statute and precedent that says you (almost always) have a right to access the road, whereas you need permission or implied permission to walk on someones private drive.

    Without more details nobody can say if its a privately maintained road or a private drive
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    mar_k wrote:
    I understand respect for posessions but we are talking about a road,

    Im not trying to be an ars* but do you really see cycling or walking down a road as disrepectful to ones property?


    Would you see it disrespectful to your property if I use your home as I wish or use your bike as I wish?
    They may be different types of property but if they belong to someone else what makes you think you have the right to ignore their rights?
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  • mar_kmar_k Posts: 323
    Im afraid Ill just have to agree to disagree with you,
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    The public normally have a right to pass over a road highway no matter who is responsible for its maintenance. Publicly maintained and privately maintained roads are normally part of the highway. All roads which the public can access are subject to the various road traffic act statutes. You do not have a right to restrict a right of way, just because you own the land. ROW are not influenced by who is responsible for the maintenance of the road, they are separate. Rights of way have been established over land owned by others for 100s of years. There are rights dating back around 100 years which give the public access over other peoples land.

    A private dwelling is something entirely different. A shared drive way is different again. It seems daft to compare them to a private road.

    This is a good explanation of what a private road is and your rights. however, there has been a legal precedent in 2004 increasing rights to access since, in addition I think it was written pre- right to roam statutes.

    http://www.test.glass-uk.org/images/sto ... by-pvt.pdf
  • mar_kmar_k Posts: 323
    so nothing I had said above is direspectful to anyone,
    Thanks for posting and clearing things up
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    mar_k wrote:
    so nothing I had said above is direspectful to anyone,
    Thanks for posting and clearing things up
    sounds like you have completely missed the point of the previous post
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  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,962
    diy wrote:
    The public normally have a right to pass over a road highway no matter who is responsible for its maintenance. Publicly maintained and privately maintained roads are normally part of the highway. All roads which the public can access are subject to the various road traffic act statutes. You do not have a right to restrict a right of way, just because you own the land. ROW are not influenced by who is responsible for the maintenance of the road, they are separate. Rights of way have been established over land owned by others for 100s of years. There are rights dating back around 100 years which give the public access over other peoples land.

    A private dwelling is something entirely different. A shared drive way is different again. It seems daft to compare them to a private road.

    Mar-k was not specifically talking about rights of way. He simply said that unless the road had a locked gate he would use it. Obviously, nobody is suggesting you shouldn't use public rights of way. However, Mar-k was implying that he regarded anything without a lock on it as a public right of way. If he didn't mean that, he shouldn't have said it.
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  • ScrumpleScrumple Posts: 2,666
    I had a cup of tea, this morning.
  • priorypriory Posts: 743
    ''However, Mar-k was implying that he regarded anything without a lock on it as a public right of way. If he didn't mean that, he shouldn't have said it.'''

    I still do not see why anyone thinks that we should assume there is no right of way on a road which is not clearly marked as having''' no public right of way for peds or motors''' . If it looks like a road of sorts and is not blocked by a locked gate nor signed as above then it is normal to assume it is a right of way of some sort, if only for pedestrians. As for an unlocked gate saying private road , that is not enough information as has been said in above posts.There are plenty of gated roads about in leicestershire and derbyshire at least. Who maintains them is of little interest to a traveler.
    If I have to seek detailed legal assurance that I am allowed to use a road or path before I do so in every case I am not going to get very far , am I?
    If the people who live on the gated road that started this thread want to stop anyone from using it then, if they are so entitled, they can sign it and lock it appropriately. Meanwhile people may walk on it until they are told to leave.
    This is not the same as stealing an apple pie from a windowsill.
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