Rights of Way play an important role in Outdoor Access in Scotland. The Access Teams are responsible for investigated alleged Rights Of Way and any obstruction of closure of alleged Rights of Way.
The Council are responsible for any public rights of way which are wholly or partly within their area. Rights of way still exist under the Local Access Forum (s.5(3)).
The criteria for Rights of Way are:
- The track must run from one public place to another public place.
- The track must follow a more or less defined route.
- The track must have been used openly and peaceably by members of the public otherwise than with the permission, express or implied, of the landowner.
- It must have been so used without substantial and effective interruption for a period of 20 years or more.
Who can use Rights of Way?
Rights of way can be for car, horse, bike and foot:
- The greater permits the lesser i.e. car allows all other modes. A footpath only allows walkers and none of the higher groups.
- Under the Land Reform Act all users would be allowed to use a right of way by any method other than vehicular.
The public authority or landowner is under no obligation to maintain a right of way.