Highway Act 1835
The Highway Act 1835 placed highways under the direction of parish surveyors, and allowed them to pay for the costs involved by rates levied on the occupiers of land. The surveyor's duty is to keep the highways in repair, and if a highway is out of repair, the surveyor may be summoned before the courts and ordered to complete the repairs within a limited time. The surveyor is also charged with the removal of nuisances on the highway. A highway nuisance may be abated by any person, and may be made the subject of indictment at common law.
The board consists of representatives of the various parishes, called "way wardens" together with the justices for the county residing within the district. Salaries and similar expenses incurred by the board are charged on a district fund to which the several parishes contribute; but each parish remains separately responsible for the expenses of maintaining its own highways.
The amending acts, while not interfering with the operation of the principal act, authorize the creation of highway districts on a larger scale. The justices of a county may convert it or any portion of it into a highway district to be governed by a highway board, the powers and responsibilities of which will be the same as those of the parish surveyor under the former act.
New road offences
The Highway Act 1835 specified as offences for which the driver of a carriage on the public highway might be punished by a fine, in addition to any civil action that might be brought against him:
- Riding upon the cart, or upon any horse drawing it, and not having some other person to guide it, unless there be some person driving it.[n 1]
- Negligence causing damage to person or goods being conveyed on the highway[n 2]
- Quitting his cart, or leaving control of the horses, or leaving the cart so as to be an obstruction on the highway.[n 2]
- Not having the owner's name painted up.[n 3]
- Refusing to give the same.[n 3]
- Driving animals or a 'carriage of any description' on the footway.[n 4]
- Not keeping on the left or near side of the road, when meeting any other carriage or horse. This rule does not apply in the case of a carriage meeting a foot-passenger, but a driver is bound to use due care to avoid driving against any person crossing the highway on foot. At the same time a passenger crossing the highway is also bound to use due care in avoiding vehicles, and the mere fact of a driver being on the wrong side of the road would not be evidence of negligence in such a case.[n 2]
- The playing of football on public highways, with a maximum penalty of forty shillings.[n 5]
Section 72 provides: "If any person shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers; or shall wilfully lead or drive any horse, ass, sheep, mule, swine, or cattle or carriage of any description, or any truck or sledge, upon any such footpath or causeway; or shall tether any horse, ass, mule, swine, or cattle, on any highway, so as to suffer or permit the tethered animal to be thereon."
This clause is referred to by the current Highway Code:
- Rule 64: "You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement."
- Rule 145: "You MUST NOT drive on or over a pavement, footpath or bridleway except to gain lawful access to property, or in the case of an emergency." (The offence of driving on a bridleway is covered by a later act)
- Rule 157: "[A non-road legal] vehicle MUST NOT be used on roads, pavements, footpaths or bridleways." (The Department for Transport cited this section in 2006 when it ruled that Segways could not be legally used on pavements in the United Kingdom.)
Related and subsequent acts
The Public Health Act 1875 vested the powers and duties of surveyors of highways and vestries in urban authorities,
- The Highway Act 1835, section 78: "That if the Driver of any Drivers of Waggon, Cart, or other Carriage of any Kind shall ride upon any such Carriage, or upon any Horse or Horses drawing the same, on any Highway, not having some other Person on Foot or on Horseback unless some to guide the same (such Carriages and Carts as are driven with Reins, other Person and are conducted by some Person holding the Reins of all the Horses guide them. drawing the same, excepted)"
- The Highway Act 1835, section 78
- The Highway Act 1835, section 76
- The Highway Act 1835, section 72: "If any person shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers; or shall wilfully lead or drive any horse, ass, sheep, mule, swine, or cattle or carriage of any description, or any truck or sledge, upon any such footpath or causeway; or shall tether any horse, ass, mule, swine, or cattle, on any highway, so as to suffer or permit the tethered animal to be thereon." (Section 72 - see below for details)
- The Highway Act 1835, section 72 (since repealed)
if any person [...] shall play at Foot-ball or any other Game on any Part of the said Highways, to the Annoyance of any Passenger or Passengers [... shall] pay any Sum not exceeding Forty Shillings
- Documents referenced from 'Notes' section
- "The Highway Act 1835" (PDF). Office of Public Sector Information. 1835.
- Other references for article
- The Short Titles Act 1896, section 2(1) and Schedule 2
- "Origins of Rugby". Rugby Football History. Retrieved 2010-04-14. "football for the common man was being suppressed, notably by the 1835 Highways Act which forbade the playing of football on highways and public land - which is where most games took place"
- "Regulations for Self-balancing Scooters". Department for Transport. Retrieved 2010-03-26. "Under the Highway Act 1835 no-one may ride or drive on the footway. Certain vehicles used by disabled drivers are exempted from these requirements but only where they use Class 2 or Class 3 "invalid carriages". These vehicles are restricted to a speed of 4 mph on the footway and, apart from those involved in the demonstration, training or repair of these vehicles, the users must have a physical disability. Self-balancing scooters are not classified as "invalid carriages" so cannot be used on pavements."[dead link]
- Official text of the Highway Act 1835 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from the UK Statute Law Database