Trail Riders Fellowship (“TRF”) is a national organisation, which aims to preserve the full status of vehicular “green lanes” and the rights of motorcyclists to use them. The three green lanes in this case were three linked unclassified roads in rural Hampshire. There have been complaints about the misuse of them by “off roaders” for several years, albeit not by TRF members. The complaints culminated in Hampshire County Council (“HCC”) making a traffic regulation order prohibiting use of the three green lanes by mechanically propelled vehicles. TRF brought a legal challenge to the order on seven grounds. The case highlighted the relationship between sections 1 and 122 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the inter-relationship with the procedural requirements under the governing 1996 regulations. One of the features of the case was the fact that HCC at no point expressly referred to its statutory duty under section 122 of the 1984 Act. Another feature was that it had consulted the Hampshire Constabulary Roads Policing Unit (“RPU”) on behalf of the chief officer, that the RPU did not support the proposed order but that the officer report to HCC’s decision-maker did not refer to the RPU’s position.
The Judge dismissed TRF’s challenge. He concluded that HCC had discharged the section 122 duty in substance, and that the shortcoming in the officer report did not reach the level of seriousness to warrant the quashing of the order. The other grounds of challenge were also rejected. TRF has applied for permission to appeal.
Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers successfully represented HCC. Stephen regularly represents and advises clients on traffic regulation order matters, as well as on a wide range of other highways issues.
For a copy of the Judgment, click here.