Cattle stop on bridle path ruled illegal

A cattle stop on a US road.
A cattle stop on a US road. © Philip J. Erdelsky

A British high court ruling that a cattle grid across a public bridleway was an illegal obstruction has been welcomed by the British Horse Society.

The case came about after Alan Kind, who edits the journal of the Byways and Bridleways Trust, served a statutory notice on Northumberland County Council to remove a cattle grid – also known as a cattle stop, Texas gate, or vehicle pass – which obstructed the bridleway at Capheaton, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Following several legal battles Mr Kind, with the support of The British Horse Society, the Byways and Bridleways Trust, the Open Spaces Society and others, appealed to the High Court, who ruled that the cattle grid was an illegal obstruction.

The high court ruled that a council may not lawfully authorise a cattle-grid across the full width of a footpath or bridleway.

Mark Weston, Director of Access, Safety and Welfare at The British Horse Society, said: “The Society was glad to support Mr Kind with this test case which supports the Kidner decision in 2010 and goes a long way towards establishing firm and clear guidance on obstructions to rights of way and the duty on highway authorities to take simple, firm and prompt action to put things right.”



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