Put simply, you are legally entitled to drive BOATs (Byway Open to All Traffic) and UCRs (Unclassified County Roads), more commonly referred to as ORPAs (Other Route with Public Access) which is the term the Ordnance Survey use to describe UCRs.
On 1:25K OS map the following legend is used. On 1:50K OS maps the symbols are the same but they are in red.
Warning: Be careful not to mix up the ORPAs with the 'on road cycle route'. Green dots are used to represent ORPAs on the 1:25k map but identify 'on road cycle route' on the 1:50k map where red dots are used for ORPAs
You vehicle must be road legal (i.e. taxed and insured), and you must drive with due care and attention at a quiet and unobtrusive pace. Please pull over to let other users pass and switch off engines for horses. Be polite and courteous at all times. Remember our right to drive on unsurfaced roads is a fragile one, one that many want to remove permanently. Please respect the surface of the road and do not attempt to drive it if you are likely to cause damage.
Please refer to our 3 R's
Some roads maybe closed to traffic by use of a TRO (Traffic Regulation Order). These might be permanent, temporary or seasonal. Do not drive a road if you see this sign at the end. A red circle legally means 'do not'. In the example below, a car and motorcycle inside a red circle means no cars or motorcycles. The sign under it excepts motorcycles in summer months. Sometimes you might see just a car inside the red circle. This simply means 'no cars'.
Other closures are Voluntary Restraints (VR). It is not an order, just a request however there is probably a good reason for the temporary closure so please take heed. Passing a VR sign could lead to a permanent closure.
Roads you can't drive
Restricted Byways (RB) used to be called RuPPs (Road Used as a Public Path). The NERC Act removed vehicular rights from these routes in 2006 unless you can prove certain exceptions apply, so some may still be vehicular even though the OS Key states (Not for use by mechanically propelled vehicles). Is is illegal to drive a RB, Bridleway or Footpath unless you can prove (i.e. have evidence that will stand in court) vehicular rights have not been lost.
This information is provided for guidance and should not be relied upon. It is an edited version of content that was first published by GLASS