Byways in Essex

Public Byway

Byways comprise just 3.8% of our public rights of way network and are open to all types of user: pedestrian, horse rider, cyclist, carriage driver and motorist. You must be aware that if you use these routes in any capacity, you are likely to come across these other users who have a legitimate right to be there. Please respect their use of these byways even if it is different to yours, by being courteous and be prepared to slow down or give way or stop if necessary.

There is often a public perception that a great deal of damage is caused by motorised vehicles and there is always pressure on Highway Authorities to close byways to vehicular users. However our duty as the highway authority does not allow us to close routes without suitable justification. Essex County Council makes every effort to resolve problems including those of surfacing without having to resort to closure, which should only be used when all other measures have failed. Byways cannot be restricted simply because people do not ‘like’ motorised use of the countryside or that they have become a location for antisocial or nuisance behaviour. They are part of the public highway network even if they don’t look exactly like a road!

Using a vehicle on a Byway

Byways are governed by Highways legislation and as such a driver using a byway must adhere to the same laws as if they were on a road.

Before using your vehicle on a byway you must ensure it is:

  • Road worthy – this includes having a valid MoT if one is needed
  • Insured
  • Taxed (Vehicle Excise Duty paid)
  • Showing a visible number plate
  • Driven by someone with the appropriate driving licence

Failure to comply with this may result in Police prosecution.

If you decide to leave the byway and ride or drive where you do not have any rights or permission from a landowner, you might be committing a criminal offence. 

Traffic Regulation Orders

You may come across signs showing ‘no motorised traffic’ restricting access to motorised vehicles on some routes. These will be there for a valid reason, either maintenance or possibly protection of flora or fauna.

These maybe temporary, seasonal or possibly permanent. Do not ignore these signs. Please see our list of Long Term TROs on Byways

Voluntary Restraint

Our byways generally have a natural surface which is more vulnerable to damage during periods of wet weather. Essex County Council request that users voluntarily restrain from using the byways when use could damage the way. This is an informal measure which is supported by LARA (Land Access Recreation Association) to help alleviate specific problems on particular routes. The system should always be supported or upheld by users whether or not they are in recognised clubs. 

Vehicular users Code of Practice

This code of practice has been drawn from various sources and in conjunction with various user groups.

  • Use only routes that you know carry vehicular rights. If in doubt check with the Highway Authority.
  • Travel at a safe and appropriate speed for conditions and locations. Voluntary maximum of 20mph.
  • Always give way to others and if appropriate switch off engines.
  • Avoid using routes in times of poor weather when surfaces are more easily damaged.
  • Take care not to damage edges/verges
  • If travelling in a group increase spacing to reduce impact on the terrain.
  • Follow the Countryside Code.

Long term Traffic Regulation Orders on byways

Below is a searchable / filterable list of long term Traffic Regulation Orders on byways

DistrictByway NumbersDescription Grid RefDetails
BasildonByway 83, BasildonBorwick LaneTQ 743,919 Prohibition of Driving Order
BasildonByway 150, BasildonRushbottom LaneTQ 766,900 Prohibition of Driving Order
BraintreeByway 9, Black NotleySnakey Lane, off Witham RoadTL 762,197Seasonal Prohibtion of Driving Order (1 November - 31 March) Motorcycles exempted
BraintreeByway 10, Black NotleyGreen LaneTL 756,191Seasonal Prohibtion of Driving Order (1 November - 31 March) Motorcycles exempted
BraintreeByway 13, Black NotleyOff Dagnets LaneTL 747,187Seasonal Prohibtion of Driving Order (1 November - 31 March) Motorcycles exempted
BraintreeByway 1 Little Henny - 13 MiddletonLodge Farm Lane, Little Henny to The Street, MiddletonTL865,390Seasonal Prohibtion of Driving Order (1 November - 31 March) Motorcycles exempted
BraintreeByway 3 Pentlow and Hoe LaneHoe LaneTL 818,455Seasonal Prohibtion of Driving Order (1 November - 31 March) Motorcycles exempted
BrentwoodByway 151 BrentwoodHou Hatch, off Lincolns Lane to which the prohibition also appliesTQ 560,946Prohibition of Motor Vehicles, except for access
BrentwoodByway 155/165 Brentwood Green Lane, Pilgrim's HatchTQ 590,956Prohibition of Driving Order
BrentwoodByway 164, BrentwoodHulletts Lane, Pilgrim's HatchTQ 575,962Prohibition of Driving Order
ChelmsfordByway 113, Great WalthamConnection between B1008 and Cut Throat LaneTL 692,160Stopping-Up Order plus Prohibition of Driving Order means there is no access for motor vehicles at this point.
ChelmsfordByway 58, StockThe ChasewayTQ 702,977Prohibition of Driving Order
ChelmsfordByway 97, WrittleOngar Rd to Victoria RdTL 658,063No TRO but this is a dead-end Byway with no through route for vehicles
Epping ForestByway 12, Epping UplandEpping Long GreenTL 443,061Seasonal Prohibition of Driving (1 November to 31 March) Motorcycles exempted
Epping ForestByway 67, NazeingBumbles Green Lane (southern sectionTL 408,046Prohibition of Driving Order Motorcycles exempted
Epping ForestByway 55, Stanford RiversColemans LaneTL 530,014Prohibition of Driving Order. Motorcycles exempted
Epping ForestByway 61 WillingaleLucas's LaneTL610,055Seasonal Prohibtion of Driving Order (1 November - 31 March) Motorcycles exempted
MaldonByway 32, PurleighOff Roundbush RoadTL 848,014Seasonal Prohibition of Driving (1 October - 31 March)
MaldonByway 10, Wickham BishopsHandleys LaneTL 847,124Prohibition of Driving Order
RochfordByways 5, 8,13,16 & 18 Foulness and Byway 30, Great WakeringAll Byways on Foulness Island including The BroomwayTR 010,913Subject to closure for military operations at any time
RochfordByway 2, RochfordThe ScrubsTQ 840,900Prohibition of Driving Order
UttlesfordByway 24 Broxted -99 Thaxted - 22 TiltyDelfits LaneTL 593,283Seasonal Prohibtion of Driving Order (1 November - 31 March) Motorcycles exempted
UttlesfordByway 25 TakeleyJacks LaneTL 575,216Motor vehicle rights extinguished. Reclassified as a Restricted Byway
UttlesfordByway 100 WimbishLower House Farm Lane to Ellis GreenTL601,345Seasonal Prohibtion of Driving Order (1 November - 31 March) Motorcycles exempted
DistrictByway NumbersDescription Grid RefDetails