Off-road vehicles on footpaths

4x4s, motorbikes and other off-road vehicles using footpaths, bridleways and other tracks is a problem in many parts of the countryside.

In places people are greeted with thunderous engines, deep ruts left by 4x4s, and have to jump out of the way when motorbikes whizz past. We feel this isn't just unpleasant, it's dangerous.

There are some laws in place to limit the damage caused by off-road vehicles. But it still represents a large problem for many walkers, cyclists, horse-riders and other vulnerable users.

Legally, motorised vehicles have a right to use ‘byways open to all traffic’ (or BOATs). These are shown as + + + + + on Ordnance Survey maps. While there is a legal right for off-road vehicles to use BOATs, some of them are now severely damaged and un-walkable. For these paths, we think that Traffic Regulation Orders should be put in to restrict off-road vehicles from using them.

Some off-road vehicles use footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways. This is illegal and should be reported to the police.

If you can’t use a path because of the damage caused by off-road vehicles, please report it to us.