Traffic Regulation Order

December 11th, 2018 by James Goudie KC

Trail Riders Fellowship v Hampshire County Council (2018) EWHC 3390 (Admin) was a statutory challenge to the decision of the Council to make a local traffic regulation order made under Section 1 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (“the 1984 Act”). The Order prohibits the use of three linked rural “green lanes” in Hampshire by motor vehicles and motor cycles. Together these lanes form a through-route joining tarmacked public vehicular highways at their three termini. They are unclassified roads.

The Claimant is a national organisation which aims to preserve the full status of vehicular green lanes and the rights of motorcyclists to use them. The Council is both the traffic and highway authority for the County. The Claimant applied to quash the Order or part of it.

The power to make traffic regulation orders outside Greater London is contained in Section 1(1) of the 1984 Act. Section 122 is a general and supplementary provision. Sir Ross Cranston said with respect to Section 122 that on the current state of the authorities the position is as follows (paragraph 37):-


  1. The duty in section 122(1) when exercising functions conferred by the Act to secure the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of traffic extends not only to vehicles but includes pedestrians;
  2. The duty of securing the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of traffic is not given primacy but is a qualified duty which has to be read with the factors in section 122(2) , such as the effect on the amenities of the area and, in the context of making a traffic regulation order, with the purposes for this identified in section 1(1) of the Act;
  3. The issue is whether in substance the section 122 duty has been performed and what has been called the balancing exercise conducted, not whether section 122 is expressly mentioned or expressly considered;
  4. In the particular circumstances of a case compliance with the section 122 duty may be evident from the decision itself, or an inference to this effect may be drawn since the decision has been taken by a specialist committee or officer who can be taken to have knowledge of the relevant statutory powers.”

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