Highways Act 1980


Removal of obstructions from Public Right of Way
If you need to get an obstruction removed from a Public Right of Way and your Highways Authority is being less than helpful [eg Cumbria County Council or the Lake District National Park Authority] then you can use section 130A to try and persuade the Highways Authority to do something. This section of the law is an amendment made by Section 63 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act and came in to force in 2004, "the provisions are intended to encourage authorities to be more proactive in keeping right of way free from obstructions, leading to greater use and enjoyment of rights of way".

The provisions allow an individual to take the Highways Authority to Court if the Authority does nothing to ensure the prompt removal of the obstruction. Here is how: DEFRA Guidance on using s130A of the Highways Act to secure removal of obstructions from highways [see also the Secretary of State Regulations - Manner and places of display of notices under section 130B(6) of the 1980 Act]

The procedure is quite straight forward, but be prepared to be blatantly lied to by the Authority's most senior solicitors and their rights of way department. In Cumbria, the County Council's Legal Services Unit [Headed up by Mr Brian Walker with Assistant Head Mr Richard Claydon] will blatantly disregard DEFRA Guidance, lie about their statutory responsibilities and abuse the Freedom of Information Act to conceal evidence of what they have failed to do. These 'professional' people who have apparently given "many years of dedicated, loyal service" have total and utter contempt for the people they are paid to serve, and the laws they are employed to enforce.

Removal of obstructions from Public Highways
Unfortunately section 130A of the Highways Act cannot be used to try and induce the Highways Authority to secure the removal of obstructions from the Public Highway, instead we have to be reliant on the ineffectual staff employed by Councils; like Cumbria County Council.

Cumbria County Council know the law but invariably will not enforce it. The Council have such contempt for the public (and the law) that they have written a procedure (for themselves), Employer's Work Instructions [EWI 09/011] that encourage their staff to lie to the public when they fail to fulfil their statutory obligations. Unfortunately Mr Peter Sybelski [Chief Executive], Mr RF Mather [Deputy Chief Executive], Mr Brian Walker [Head of Legal Services] and Mr Richard Claydon [Assistant Head of Legal Services] all "turn a blind eye" to the problems their abuse of the law and their obdurate attitude causes.