Voluntary restraint

In Making the best of byways – see the Government Publications page – it was recognised that:

… voluntary restraint can be a useful tool for management of byways where reductions in mechanically propelled vehicle traffic is desirable, but not where the prohibition of mechanically propelled vehicles is agreed to be necessary.

LARA has co-ordinated a number of successful voluntary restraint schemes in the past although, at present (January 2017), none are current. When considering a LARA-sponsored voluntary restraint scheme, the following criteria must be considered:

  • Is it relevant? Restraint must be likely to solve a real problem (not just as punishment for overuse, or as a short cut to a TRO).
  • Is it minimal? It must not extend beyond what is needed (if bikes are not a problem, do not include them).
  • Is it finite? It must be for a maximum of 3 months, but then renewable (for a further 3 months only) if progress is being made and more time can be seen to be needed.
  • Is it non-threatening? The highway authority must agree that voluntary restraint will not prejudice highway rights.
  • Is it legal? Written authority for the signs must be given by the highway authority.
  • Is it comprehensive? Other users contributing to the problem must also agree to restraint by some formal system.
  • Do we all agree? It must be agreed by local representatives of all LARA member clubs.
  • Is it user-led? Any adverts and publicity must be in the name of LARA.
  • Are there alternative routes? Neighbouring alternatives must be unobstructed and clearly available.

If you think that a voluntary restraint scheme may be appropriate for a unsealed road or byway in your area, please contact LARA.