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Right to roam v Private Road

Right to roam v Private Road


Postby Navvarr » Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:52 am

Out walking today, I set off up The Queens View, round by the Whangie then on towards Burncrooks Reservoir before looping back towards Edenmill and from them chose a path clearly marked on my phone maps which I would interpret as a 'Right of Way'.

Upon coming to the end of the path marked in red right in the middle of the photo you come out onto a roadway which it seems is called Cameron Avenue.

On this roadway, what appeared to be the owner of a house stopped me and stated that I was on a private road and shouldn't be there.

My question is- who is in the right here?

There is a clearly marked path coming from Edenmill and the path is well defined and obviously in use due to the footprints and bicycle tyre marks- in addition there are stiles on both sides of the path although the gate is open at the Eden Mill end.

I was pleasant to the guy- but I've walked these paths for years and never once been challenged - I'm merely walking, passing by this fellows property, not causing any disturbance.

Do we have the right to roam as it's often put? Has this person the right to restrict access to a roadway which he states is a private driveway?
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Re: Right to roam v Private Road

Postby davekeiller » Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:38 am

According to the Outdoor Access Scotland website:
Access rights extend to all paths and tracks except where they go over land on which access rights do not apply. Rights of way are unaffected by the legislation.

(https://www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot/practical-guide-all/out-and-about/paths-and-tracks accessed 04/04/2021)

This would suggest that if you have the right to be on the land, you have the right to walk along the road. However, if the road is on private land to which you do not have access rights then you don't have the right to walk along it. I suspect that the person who spoke to you is wrong, but don't know the exact details of that precise location so can't be sure. Probably the fact that it's so close to Glasgow means they've had the world and his wife up there recently and patience is wearing thin as a result of the actions of an irresponsible minority.
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Re: Right to roam v Private Road

Postby gaffr » Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:46 pm

Might show a better picture on the Ordnance Survey Map.....maybe you were in the grounds of the Outdoor Centre?
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Re: Right to roam v Private Road

Postby denfinella » Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:36 pm

Looking at the map, it appears that walking along the track should be within your access rights. However, it's hard to say for certain without being there (curtilages etc.).

I bet the local resident has had problems with irresponsible parking there though given the proximity to Glasgow. Even more so as the track is within 5 miles of the Glasgow council area boundary and The Whangie car park possibly isn't! That might explain (though not justify) his actions.
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Re: Right to roam v Private Road

Postby Navvarr » Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:17 pm

No, I walked from where it says 'Low Auchengillan' to '51' along that winding path- which is a defined path bounded by trees and shrubs. The Outdoor Centre is on the other side of the road.

I'm inclined to think he just doesn't want to see folk passing his house and tries to deter people by claiming that they're trespassing.

With lockdown and the new St Mocha coffee place it no doubt has increased interest in the surrounding area and no doubt it's probably annoyed him.

I've actually found a walk report which actually details a walk in the local vicinity along with pictures, so it seems that due to a few well placed 'Private' signs and an fellow that seems to want to keep the area to himself, folk may well be missing out on an very enjoyable walk.

You can check out the details here. I'm looking forward to enjoying it.

https://www.caingram.info/Scotland/Pic_htm/auchineden_hill.htm
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Re: Right to roam v Private Road

Postby Skyelines » Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:03 pm

A useful tool is the Land Registry for Scotland as one can find out who has title to what bit of land.

The drive from the A809 to Auchineden house is shown with the titles of Auchineden house, apartments and other properties at the end of the drive ( 9 properties in all including Auchineden Estate). The title to North Lodge does not include the drive.
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Re: Right to roam v Private Road

Postby Kevin29035 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:20 am

I walked through there on a circuit of Auchineden Hill in the winter and certainly noticed all the private signs.

Interesting to see that the forestry track going past the cluster of houses is marked on the map, but it's been swallowed up by the garden of the last house. We went around the perimeter of the garden on wet ground, and weren't the only ones doing that either.

IMO if you have the benefit of owning a large amount of ground, don't be surprised when people come to walk on it. Amazes me estates have this mindset but it's everywhere, of course. I'd understand they've probably had a lot of walkers going by, but don't we all whether in towns, cities or countryside.
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Re: Right to roam v Private Road

Postby gaffr » Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:41 pm

If I were heading for either The Whangie or to Aucheneden Hill I would park-up at the Parking area/viewpoint etc.a couple of Kls. up the road where there is a path will take you to both.
Many of the access to the hill areas up here and beyond have the access paths away from the say the big house or away from kennels etc. many examples of this in my local area. At one where I had a problem when the small estate changed owners, on a track that I had cycled to work using over thirty years, there is now a path/signs that takes the walker/cyclist a short distance away from the track that passed the big house..
At the Braemore access to reach far North Morven, and many more, there is a well sign posted trail to take you away from both big house and kennels...no disturbance to anyone and civil meeting with the folks on the estate.
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Re: Right to roam v Private Road

Postby AyrshireAlps » Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:54 pm

As long as you're not walking right through the immediate curtilage, ie their garden and can gopp in their windows, carry on.
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Re: Right to roam v Private Road

Postby rabthecairnterrier » Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:06 pm

AyrshireAlps wrote:As long as you're not walking right through the immediate curtilage, ie their garden and can gopp in their windows, carry on.

Absolutely correct - if the road, private or not, is outwith what can be reasonably thought to be the curtilage of an individual house (ie in practice the garden) then access rights apply.
The OP should refer this to the council's Access Officer for action.
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Re: Right to roam v Private Road

Postby davekeiller » Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:13 pm

Not sure that's 100% true. It's also an attitude that's not going to endear you to the landowner.
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Re: Right to roam v Private Road

Postby Skyelines » Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:40 pm

A private drive could be reasonably argued as being within the curtilage of a property.
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Re: Right to roam v Private Road

Postby rabthecairnterrier » Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:00 pm

Skyelines wrote:A private drive could be reasonably argued as being within the curtilage of a property.

That depends - a private road just means it is not an adopted road and therefore not open to vehicle traffic. If it is outwith what a "reasonable person" (which is the way a court would look at it) would regard as the curtilage then access rights would normally apply. I note that the OP didn't say whether or not the householder claimed to be the owner of the road, and from the map it looks as if it may serve several properties, in which case it is unlikely to be within the curtilage of the house.
The council's Access Officer - who's contact details should be available on their website - will be able to advise. If access is disputed he may then refer it to the Local Access Forum, a statutory body, who will look at the issue in detail and advise the council as to whether access rights apply. If access rights are upheld, the landowner may challenge this through the Sheriff Court if he so wishes.
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Re: Right to roam v Private Road

Postby LobeyD » Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:14 pm

This route is close to where I often cycle so had a look yesterday. The road looks like a typical private access road to multiple properties so would be very difficult to argue it was a dedicated private driveway rather than a more general access route. Assuming the person was the owner of the house between the stile and the main road (all of about 200m), the road runs past the property but not through it so no obvious problem there as it should be a shared ownership or estate road. Suspect he was being a chancer.

Probably related to the numpty that bought the big house at the back of Glengoyne Distillery that is currently festooned with 'Stay at Home' signs and sports a rather incongruous electric gate that needs to be bypassed via a boggy path. Totally ruined an excellent Strava segment :roll:.
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Re: Right to roam v Private Road

Postby BobG » Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:56 am

This sounds a similar issue to where we live. We have a shared access road serving 10 houses that is a dead end at No 10. The road passes through all the properties most, depending on how the land ownership was allocated at sale, have land either side of the access road and whilst we have access rights and a maintenance burden we only own the solum of the road. Our garden is obvious to all on both sides of the road. It is maintained and the grass is mown with logs etc stacked on both sides so no doubt about what it is. Houses are 10 metres from the road.
At the dead end of the road at No 10 there is a public right of way /core path and sign so anyone that section then ends up on our access road. When the core path was advertised the Access Officer described the access road as being used by the residents permissions. It has worked for years and like many other places has got much busier now with walkers and bikes. A farm shop/garden centre at the main road end clearly increases the number of visitors now. We have No Unauthorised Access signs at the start of the Access after the retail.
Tourists as they are known to us residents do explore in their cars and end up having to turn round in a house entrance which is annoying especially for the last house who gets most but on the whole this is tolerated by us residents. The biggest complaint we have is the dog walkers who leave their dog poo bags on the verges then the tourists turning in your drive. The former is a particularly offensive and irritating activity to me.
If it all became much more intolerant then it would be interesting to see what would happen if we decided collectively or even as an individual to deny access on the road as it is private garden ground. Diverting to the adjacent fields would then be within the outdoor access code but it wouldn’t be easy without climbing fences or negotiating brambles etc. Would an alternative route have to be provided?
As ever it is the selfish minority that will spoil it for all if it came to pass. The owner in question on the original post may just be fed up for the same reasons as we may end up being as well.
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