Countryside and Rights of Way Bill - continued        House of Commons
PART II, PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY AND ROAD TRAFFIC - continued
Rights of way improvement plans - continued

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Application of ss. 53 and 54 to inner London.     55. - (1) The council for an inner London borough or the Common Council of the City of London may by resolution adopt sections 53 and 54 as respects their area or any part of it which is specified in the resolution.
 
      (2) On the passing by any authority of a resolution under subsection (1), sections 53 and 54 shall, as respects their area or the part of it specified in the resolution, apply in relation to that authority-
 
 
    (a) as they apply in relation to a local highway authority other than an inner London authority, but
 
    (b) with the substitution for the reference in subsection (1) of section 53 to the commencement of that section of a reference to the date on which the resolution comes into operation.
 
Removal of obstructions from highways
Enforcement of duty to prevent obstruction.     56. After section 130 of the 1980 Act there is inserted-
 
 
"Notices to enforce duty regarding public paths.     130A. - (1) Any person may by notice require a local highway authority, other than an inner London authority, to secure the removal of any obstruction to which this section applies from any highway within subsection (2) below for which they are the highway authority.
 
    (2) A highway is within this subsection if it is-
 
 
    (a) a footpath, bridleway, or restricted byway, or
 
    (b) a way shown in a definitive map and statement as a byway open to all traffic.
      (3) Subject to subsection (4) below, this section applies to an obstruction of the highway if the obstruction is without lawful authority and either-
 
 
    (a) the powers conferred by section 143, 149 or 154 below are exercisable in respect of it, or
 
    (b) it is of a description prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State and the authority have power (otherwise than under any of those sections) to secure its removal.
      (4) This section does not apply to an obstruction if-
 
 
    (a) it is, or is part of-
 
      (i) a building (whether temporary or permanent), or
 
      (ii) any other structure (including a vehicle or other movable object) which it appears may be used as a dwelling,
 
    (b) an order may be made in respect of it under section 56(4) above, or
 
    (c) the presence of any person constitutes the obstruction.
      (5) A highway authority on whom a notice under subsection (1) above is served by any person shall, within one month from the date of service of the notice, serve-
 
 
    (a) on that person, a notice stating what, if any, action they propose to take in relation to the obstruction, and
 
    (b) on any other person who it appears to them may be required to remove the obstruction, a copy of the notice under subsection (1) above and a copy of their notice under paragraph (a) above.
      (6) A notice under subsection (1) or (5) above shall be in such form and contain such information as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State.
 
      (7) In this section-
 
 
    "definitive map and statement" has the same meaning as in Part III of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981;
 
    "inner London authority" means Transport for London, the council of an inner London borough or the Common Council of the City of London; and
 
    "restricted byway" has the same meaning as in Part II of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.
      (8) Subsection (2) above has effect until the commencement of section 43 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 with the substitution for the reference to a restricted byway of a reference to a way shown in a definitive map and statement as a road used as a public path.
 
Orders following notice under section 130A.     130B. - (1) Where a notice under section 130A(1) above has been served on a highway authority in relation to any obstruction, the person who served it, if not satisfied that the obstruction has been removed, may-
 
 
    (a) after the end of five days beginning with the date of service on the authority of notice of his intention to apply for an order under this section, and
 
    (b) before the end of six months beginning with the date of service of the notice under section 130A(1) above,
  apply to a magistrates' court for such an order.
 
      (2) No notice under subsection (1)(a) above shall be served before the end of two months beginning with the date of service of the notice under section 130A(1) above.
 
      (3) An order under this section is an order requiring the highway authority to take, within such reasonable period as may be fixed by the order, such steps as may be specified in the order for securing the removal of the obstruction.
 
      (4) Subject to subsection (5) below the court may make an order under this section if it is satisfied-
 
 
    (a) that the obstruction is one to which section 130A above applies,
 
    (b) that the fact that the way obstructed is a highway within subsection (2) of that section is not seriously disputed, and
 
    (c) that the obstruction significantly interferes with the exercise of public rights of way over that way.
      (5) No order shall be made under this section if the highway authority satisfy the court-
 
 
    (a) that they have no duty under section 130(3) above to secure the removal of the obstruction, or
 
    (b) that, under arrangements which have been made by the authority, its removal will be secured within a reasonable time, having regard to the number and seriousness of obstructions in respect of which they have such a duty.
      (6) An order under this section may be varied on the application of the highway authority to whom it relates."
 
Power to order offender to remove obstruction.     57. - (1) After section 137 of the 1980 Act (penalty for wilful obstruction) there is inserted-
 
 
"Power to order offender to remove obstruction.     137ZA. - (1) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 137 above in respect of the obstruction of a highway and it appears to the court that-
 
    (a) the obstruction is continuing, and
 
    (b) it is in that person's power to remove the cause of the obstruction,
  the court may, in addition to or instead of imposing any punishment, order him to take, within such reasonable period as may be fixed by the order, such steps as may be specified in the order for removing the cause of the obstruction.
 
      (2) The time fixed by an order under subsection (1) above may be extended or further extended by order of the court on an application made before the end of the time as originally fixed or as extended under this subsection, as the case may be.
 
      (3) Where a person is ordered under subsection (1) above to remove the cause of any obstruction, that person shall not be liable under section 137 above in respect of the obstruction in so far as it continues during the time fixed by the order or any further time allowed under subsection (2) above.
 
      (4) If a person fails without reasonable excuse to comply with an order under subsection (1) above, he is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale."
 
      (2) Subsection (1) does not have effect in relation to any offence under section 137 of the 1980 Act committed before the commencement of this section.
 
 
Miscellaneous
Making of traffic regulation orders for purposes of conserving natural beauty, etc.     58. - (1) In section 22 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (traffic regulation for special areas in the countryside), in subsection (1)(a)-
 
 
    (a) the words "(other than Greater London)" are omitted,
 
    (b) at the end of paragraph (vi), the word "or" is omitted, and
 
    (c) before the word "and" at the end of paragraph (vii) there is inserted-
 
    "
  or
 
 
      (viii) an area in respect of which a notification under section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (sites of special scientific interest) has effect;".
      (2) In subsection (2) of that section, for "the paragraphs of subsection (1) of that section" there is substituted "paragraphs (a) to (g) of subsection (1) of that section and referred to in section 6(1)(b) of this Act".
 
      (3) After subsection (4) of that section there is inserted-
 
 
    "(5) In subsection (2) above the reference to conserving the natural beauty of an area shall be construed as including a reference to conserving its flora, fauna and geological and physiographical features.".
 
      (4) After that section there is inserted-
 
 
"Traffic regulation on certain roads for purpose of conserving natural beauty.     22A. - (1) This section applies to roads other than-
 
    (a) roads to which section 22 of this Act applies,
 
    (b) special roads, or
 
    (c) any road which is a trunk road, a classified road, a cycle track, a bridleway or a footpath, as those expressions are defined by section 329 of the Highways Act 1980.
      (2) This Act shall have effect as respects roads to which this section applies as if, in relation to the making of provision with respect to vehicular traffic, the list of purposes for which a traffic regulation order under section 1 of this Act may be made, as set out in paragraphs (a) to (g) of subsection (1) of that section and referred to in section 6(1)(b) of this Act, included the purpose of conserving or enhancing the natural beauty of the area.
 
      (3) In subsection (2) above the reference to conserving the natural beauty of an area shall be construed as including a reference to conserving its flora, fauna and geological and physiographical features."
 
Prohibition on driving mechanically propelled vehicles elsewhere than on roads.     59. Schedule 8 (which makes amendments relating to the driving of mechanically propelled vehicles elsewhere than on roads) has effect.
 
Erection of stiles, etc.: needs of persons with mobility problems.     60. In section 147 of the 1980 Act (power to authorise erection of stiles etc on footpath or bridleway) after subsection (2) there is inserted-
 
 
    "(2A) In exercising their powers under subsection (2) above a competent authority shall have regard to the needs of persons with mobility problems.
 
      (2B) The Secretary of State may issue guidance to competent authorities as to matters to be taken into account for the purposes of subsection (2) above; and in exercising their powers under subsection (2) above competent authorities shall have regard to any such guidance issued to them."
 
Reports on functions relating to rights of way.     61. - (1) The Secretary of State (as respects England) or the National Assembly for Wales (as respects Wales) may make regulations requiring local highway authorities of a description specified in the regulations to publish reports on the performance of any of their functions so far as relating to local rights of way (whether or not those functions are conferred on them as highway authorities).
 
      (2) Subsection (1) is without prejudice to section 230 of the Local Government Act 1972 (reports and returns).
 
      (3) Regulations under subsection (1) may prescribe the information to be given in such reports and how and when reports are to be published.
 
      (4) Regulations under subsection (1) shall be made by statutory instrument, and a statutory instrument containing such regulations made by the Secretary of State shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
 
      (5) In this section-
 
 
    "local highway authority" has the same meaning as in the 1980 Act, except that it does not include Transport for London; and
 
    "local rights of way" has the same meaning as in section 53.
 
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