§ Mr. Hunter
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to clarify the requirement for vehicular use in respect of the definition of roads used as a public path in the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.
§ Mr. Maclean
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 sought to dispel any confusion surrounding roads used as public paths—RUPPs— by requiring highway authorities to acknowledge the rights found to exist. Where vehicular rights exist, RUPPs must be reclassified as byways open to all traffic—BOATs—which are defined as routes over which the public have a right of way for vehicular traffic, but which are used mainly by walkers and riders.
I am aware of a growing concern about the reclassification procedure. A working party of the rights of way review committee has been considering a number of relevant issues including the definition of a BOAT. The working party has recently drawn up recommendations which we will be considering carefully.