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To think that driving a 4x4 along the river bed is not a good idea?

(6 Posts)
LeCreusetQueen Wed 31-May-17 18:58:50

We live close to a river and there /are horses in fields on both sides of the river. Over the last few weeks, we and our neighbours have seen a Land Rover, unplated, driving up and down the river bed, screeching up and down and scaring the horses, as well as probably damaging the river bed and disrupting the fish breeding grounds and other ducks, geese etc, who live there.

AIBU to think this is environmental vandalism and to seek advice what can be done about it legally I and a neighbour have tried to approach the vehicle but it just retreated at speed when we approached. Apparently it is quite a thing and there are websites devoted to pictures and videos of people driving down river banks 'off road'.

BuckinghamLass Wed 31-May-17 19:02:42

What an idiot. I'd get in touch with the council first, see what their take is - if it's a protected area or whatever. Do people walk along there? eg, could it be dangerous for walkers to have a 4x4 driving about?

LeCreusetQueen Wed 31-May-17 19:05:44

It's private land on both sides but I don't know who owns/is responsible for the river. I don't think they are a danger to people, but are frightening the horses and are damaging the environment. Is it legal to drive down a river bed?

Mondy Wed 31-May-17 22:03:54

Depends if it's a legal right of way known as a BOAT (Byway Open to All Traffic) which are marked on Ordnance Survey maps or a UCR (Unclassified County Road) which are sometimes marked on OS maps, sometimes these routes use short sections of river as a historical ford.

The majority of people that use these routes in 4x4s do so responsibly; there are alas some idiots (and the idiots also drive where they shouldn't, giving responsible users a bad reputation in the process).

The fact that it's got no numberplates on suggests that the driver is in the idiot category, and that the riverbed isn't a legal right of way. To be sure, contact your Rights of Way Officer at your local council (they all have them) to let him know what's going on. He'll be able to tell you the legal status; I would be very doubtful if it's a legal vehicular right of way though, as ones that use sections of riverbed are very rare and would have obvious markers pertaining to them being a forded river crossing, such as depth poles and "Ford" warning signs.

Mondy Wed 31-May-17 22:05:20

If it's a legal section of riverbed, then it's probably on here: www.wetroads.co.uk/ It's a pretty exhaustive list and has most river crossings that are a public right of way for vehicles.

LeCreusetQueen Thu 01-Jun-17 06:08:02

Thank you Mondy, much appreciated. I will contact the Council.

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