Ramblers Scotland has submitted a response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the Land Reform Bill. While overall the Scottish access legislation has been working well over the past 10 years, there are still a few problems relating to implementation on the ground which need to be improved. We have taken the opportunity to raise these problem issues with the government.
First of all, we have identified problems in getting obstructions removed, since local authorities have to prove that the obstruction is there for the ‘main purpose’ of preventing or deterring access. It’s very difficult to prove that, for example, a gate is locked as an obstruction to access when the landowner can claim it’s due to problems with fly-tipping.
Secondly we have once again focussed attention on issues relating to private level crossings – those which are often in remote rural areas – where Network Rail continues to insist that any walker crossing the line is committing an act of criminal trespass. Since these crossings are well-used by those enjoying recreation as well as local residents, this confusion needs to be sorted out. We are calling for a right of access to be established across the line at these points.