Metalled Public Roads and the ‘Mainly Used’ Test.

The Northumberland County Council Definitive Map Modification Order (No 7) 2012 Byways Open to All Traffic Nos 37, 38 & 38 (Parishes of Otterburn and Rochester).
Decision Letter of 16 February 2015, Inspector Michael Lowe, PINS Ref’n FPS/P2935/7/39.
As regards this order, the decision letter makes no reference at all to Advice Note 8, and exhibits no record of evidence of balance of user before the Inspector. Without that evidence, on the basis that the order route is a sealed-surface motor road, the Inspector would be right to hold that the s.66(1) definition test is not satisfied, and refuse to confirm the order. The Inspector is surely wrong to apply a ‘character test’ to a public vehicular road that is clearly not disused?

Find this discussion in the updated ‘Notes and Materials on the Law of Bridleways and Byways’ on this website.