To be a right of way, a route must meet all the following conditions:
Originally just part of the Common Law of Scotland, the last two conditions above are now included in the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973.
ScotWays works with local authorities and local communities to determine whether routes meet the above conditions, as the interpretation of the law can be contentious. Ultimately, if it is not agreed that a route meets the necessary conditions to be a right of way, it is up to the courts to decide whether the criteria are met.
That depends upon how a route has been used over the 20 years that lead to the route becoming a right of way.
If it was only used by people walking then it is a right of way for pedestrians. If it was used by horses then it is a right of way for horses and pedestrians. If it was used by vehicles, including carts, then it is a right of way for vehicles and horses and pedestrians.
This means you can always assume a right of way can be walked, but you can’t always assume a right of way can be used on horseback or by motorised vehicles.
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