Green Lane code of conduct

Click here to see some green laning action. (1.3meg file)

1. Use only vehicular rights of way - not all green roads have vehicular rights. LARA groups can help with information.

2. Keep to the defined track, and deviate only to pass immovable obstructions. Report obstructions, including low branches and very soft ground, to the highway authority. If the correct route is not obvious on the ground, ask local users, or check the details held at the highway authority and local record offices.

3. Travel at a quiet and unobtrusive pace, alone or in small groups. Remember that others seek to get away from bustle and rush.

4. Ensure that you and your vehicle are fully road-legal, and obey traffic and LARA signs. Green roads are subject to the same laws as surfaced roads. There is no public right to drive away from a road on common land, moorland, sand dunes, or beach.

5. Pay attention to 'the Four Ws' -

Weather: -

Do not travel on green roads when they risk being damaged beyond a point of natural recovery, when the weather improves.

Weight :-

Do not use roads which may be seriously damaged by the wheel pressure of your vehicle. LARA does not support the use of Heavy Vehicles on green roads.

Width :-

Do not use roads which are too narrow for your vehicle. Avoid damage to trees, hedges and boundaries.


Use only when unavoidable. Always avoid damage to trees, walls, and surface while recovering.

6. Respect the life of the countryside. Be courteous to all other users, and take great care when passing horses. Be prepared to stop your engine if needed. Always fasten gates and take care near livestock.

7. Remember that wildlife faces many threats, and green roads can be valuable habitats. Take special care in spring and early summer.

Rights of Way and Restrictions.

Vehicles may legally be used on alleyways open to all traffic' (BOATS) and 'Unclassified roads' (or UCRS). There are also a few 'Roads used as public paths' (RUPPS) - many of these have vehicular rights, some do not. If in doubt, check with the highway authority or a LARA member organisation. Some vehicular routes have been closed by TROs (Traffic Regulation Orders) you must obey the signs at the ends of these routes.

Voluntary Restraint.

As an alternative to more formal measures, LARA operates a system of 'voluntary restraint' to help solve problems on green roads. Signs are erected where the system is in operation they carry the LARA logo, a local contact telephone number and location details. This system is only applied after agreement with local users, and all motor vehicle users are asked to obey the signs, not to do so may lead to permanent closure.

Maps and Signs.

Do not assume that Ordnance Survey maps give correct information on rights of way. Many maps contain out of date detail, or have serious omissions, especially as regards green roads. OS maps do not show which roads are public UCRs and which are private access roads. Do not assume that every minor road is public. Some highways shown on maps or on signs as 'bridleway' or 'footpaths' are actually vehicular rights of way, but unless you have evidence of this you must not drive on any footpath or bridleway without the landowner's permission.

Reproduced from the 1999 ARC Handbook

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