Posted by: swinemoor | September 19, 2014

Byways and Highways

In reply to a series of comments made by GKT, we at NSH believe that it is important to clear up any ambiguity regarding the legal status of the existing dual use footway/cycleway alongside the B1230. We do not wish to be drawn into a debate about the necessity of a resurfaced and adequate cycleway as we have already said, however, we also feel it is important to deal with misinformation when it is promulgated and set the record straight.

Wheres the path map

Figure 1: Screenshot of B1230 status as cycle lane (Byway) from Where’s The Path ( Contains Ordnance Survey Data. Crown Copyright and Database Right 2014.

The current path is designated as a Byway under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 as a Restricted Byway: in other words you can cycle, ride horses and walk along it but you cannot drive a motorised vehicle. The remainder of the B1230 is designed as Highway. The status of the existing path on the Council’s Definitive Map as a byway is confirmed by the fact that ERYC have uploaded their most recent digital copy of this map to the Where’s The Path website, where it appears as a route (see Figure 1). The path is also clearly signposted (Figure 2).

Now that that it is clear that the existing path is a cycleway, you again have to ask why the ERYC just did not resurface it and maybe, in the process, make it a tad wider: they would probably have gotten away with it. The reason does not lie in road safety as ERYC state ad nauseum: if it were, they would not be proposing two crossings of the B1230! A look at some of the research HERE clearly shows that cycle lane road crossings (and cycle lanes adjacent to the roadway where two-way cycling is permitted) are more dangerous than cycling on the roadway itself. Many local authorities are now taking such cycle lanes out for safety reasons. Why then is ERYC persisting with a 2m cycle way across Westwood?

B1230 Byway signs

Figure 2: Byway and Cycleway signs on B1230 (picture taken 19 September 2014)



We at NSH believe that the reason has nothing to do with cycling or cycling safety or guidelines: if it had they would have followed the DFT’s Guidelines and consulted with stakeholders before designing the path: they didn’t and still have not in any meaningful fashion, preferring legal sleight of hand as an approach to getting their way by setting a precedent for land swapping in relation to Beverley’s common lands. No other reason makes sense: from the selective application of guidelines, through the unsubstantiated claims about cycling safety to the the exorbitant cost, ERYC are hell bent on achieving a land swap. Cycling and cyclists are merely pawns in a game. Wake up and smell the coffee and fight these proposals: a much better cycle lane with no road crossings is possible with goodwill from all sides. There is precious little of this coming from ERYC.


  1. Misinformation ? “ERYC have uploaded their most recent digital copy of this [definitive map] to the Where’s The Path website”. No, they haven’t. You’re showing a screenshot of an OSM map which has no legal status whatsoever and has nothing to do with ERYC. You can find the correct representation of the East Riding Definitive Map here:
    The B1230 does not appear as a Restricted Byway. The link you provided says that Restricted Byways should be of minimum 3m width.

    The sign you have pictured is a waymarker for The National Byway which is simply the chosen name for a sign-posted cycling route along rural roads. It does not indicate a Byway under the ROW Act. Similarly, the Sustrans Route 164 sign is simply a route marker and it does not indicate a legally defined cycle path along a footway.

    It is not an issue of less-than-adequate cycle path vs. upgrade. It is an issue of no cycle path vs. creation.

    • Restricted Byways can be less than 3m width if they are inherited. The map that you refer to on ERYC’s website has the following disclaimer on it:
      The information on these pages gives the approximate location of the Public Right of Way network, and may only be used for general guidance. No guarantee is given to its accuracy

      Where’s the Path state they are using the most recent data in respect of ERYC. Since a Byway cannot be a Highway (motorised vehicles) and the signpost is on the footpath, it clearly refers to the latter.

      In any case this discussion is academic to the main thrust of the argument here: the issue of land swapping and setting a precedent.

      Your comments imply that ERYC are not telling the truth in designating the footpath alongside the B1230 as a Byway. We at NSH say that they are also not being entirely truthful in wishing to ‘widen’ (their words) the existing cycleway.

      We, therefore, all agree: ERYC are not telling the whole truth in this debacle.

  2. […] ERYC plan involves widening of an existing dual use (pedestrian and cycle) path so it is 2m wide to comply with Sustrans […]

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