Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Wiltshire Council Advice to English Heritage About the A344

The traffic regulation order made in relation to the A344 does not place any restriction on the movement of pedestrians, cyclists or equestrians.

The gating arrangements were installed at either end of the A344 with the specific purpose of restricting access to motorised vehicles, whilst allowing passage by horses and horse drawn vehicles.

English Heritage have no authority to stop any person from using the A344; they act as agents for the Council in relation to the issuing of permits for those vehicles exempted by the order. Any unlawful use of the road by e.g. motorised vehicles, is a matter for the police to enforce, not English Heritage.

Whilst English Heritage acts as agents for the highway authority in issuing permits for vehicular users of that part of the A344 subject to the TRO, that is the extent of any authority they have in relation to the A344.

The only permitted obstruction to passage along the road are the formally permitted gates, which legal users must be allowed to open.

The placing of cones, barriers and other obstructions in the highway is a legal offence, as provided for in Part IX (Lawful and Unlawful Interference With Highways and Streets) of the Highways Act 1980. The Council, as local highway authority, has a duty under s130 to protect public rights on the highway.

Wiltshire Council understands that English Heritage might find the placing of signs, cones etc in the carriageway as being helpful to their visitors; however, the road is an asset for enjoyment by the wider public, and their lawful rights must be respected by English Heritage, regardless of the impact on and implications for English Heritage’s interests in the area.

Wiltshire Council seeks confirmation from English Heritage that they understand the extent of their powers in relation to the A344, and not to place further such obstructions, nor to seek to intimidate in any way any users of the highway exercising their lawful rights.

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