What are Green Lanes

Jargon Explained


Byway Open To All Traffic - BOAT


A BOAT can be used by any road legal vehicle.


Traffic Regulation Order - TRO


A TRO can be applied to a BOAT without changing the status, it prohibits vehicles, either cars and motorbikes or just cars. It is shown on the maps as a BOAT but will have signs at each end of the BOAT showing that it has a TRO. The sign is round with a red edge, and has a picture of either a motorcycle and car or just a car.

Proposed TRO's do not legally have to go to Public Enquiry when there are objections. If there is an overwhelming amount of objections it may go to a Public Enquiry, but even then it is up to the discretion of the council. This is why councils tend to put TRO's on BOATs instead of trying to downgrade them

You must follow the instructions displayed on the notices at the end of the affected section.

The history of our Byways goes back many thousands of years to when man first made tracks to connect farms and villages to the developing market towns. Many of the original features can still be seen. Layered trees woven together, earth banks and ditches (used to contain livestock being driven to market) still exist along some of these tracks.

The number of places where you can use a motor vehicle 'off road' in the Countryside is limited by the law. Unless you have the landowners permission you are restricted to one type of Public Right of Way. These are known as Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATs) or where they have yet to be re-classified, as Roads Used as Public Paths (RUPPs) or Unclassified County Roads (UCRs).

You may know these as 'Green Lanes' but not all green lanes are Byways. These routes can be located with an Ordnance Survey map, The Definitive Map of Rights of Way can be examined at the borough/district councils or at the Rights of Way Section at County Hall. Do not assume that Ordnance Survey maps give correct information on rights of way. Many maps contain out of date information.

Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO's) are used to close a Byway for repairs or alterations or to permanently prohibit vehicular traffic.

Byways are public highways and are subject to the same laws as any other highway. To remain within the law you or your vehicle must have the following:

Registration plates / A valid driving licence / Vehicle insurance / MOT certificate where applicable

Back to Information Page Back to Information Page Back to Home Page Back to Information Page Back to Home Page Back to Home Page