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Gates on Restricted Byways

Where it has been proven by a local highway authority that a problem of unauthorised motor vehicle usage exists on a restricted byway, the Society should press for the authority and police to run an enforcement exercise for a minimum period of 12 months, but ideally a period of 24 months, this trial period should include the provision of a Kent Carriage Gap. 

If the problem persists after the trial period the Society may accede to the making of a traffic regulation order to enable the erection of an unlocked gate provided it is 10 feet/3 metres wide between the gate posts. In exceptional cases the Society may accept a narrower gate, but this should not be less than 5ft 4ins wide, which will allow passage by the majority of horse-drawn vehicles. 

The Society will insist on the provision of 20ft of straight path either side of the gate to facilitate: 

(a) safe stopping to open the gate
(b) a straight approach to the gate 
(c) sufficient length to open the gate without interference with traffic flow. 

The Society will only accede to a padlocked gate being erected if, after the trial period, it has been clearly demonstrated that this is the only way to achieve the aims of the legislation while preserving access for local carriage drivers, and that access by horse riders will be through an unlocked gate or a gap 5ft/1.5m wide. 

The Society will only accede to the erection of a gate if it opens both ways to assist the safe passage of carriages through it. 

The Society will only accede to the making of a traffic regulation order if: 

• there is provision for it to be reviewed after four years 

• an on-line register, by parishes, is maintained of road traffic regulation orders affecting public rights of way.

BHS Self Closing Gates Report 2011

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