[Tagging] bicycle=no

Mike Harris mikh43 at googlemail.com
Sun Dec 6 16:25:28 GMT 2009

In England and Wales:

1. It is always an offence (trespass) to ride OR LEAD a horse on a
designated 'public footpath' without the landholder's consent. The
landholder can order the rider / leader off, or sue for damages, or both.

2. Unitary authorities and non-unitary district councils also have powers
under the Local Government Act 1972 to restrict or prohibit horse-riding in
specified footpaths (and even bridleways). Traffic authorities have similar
powers under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. Breach of such byelaws or
orders is a criminal offence.

3. A towpath may be a public footpath, or a public right of way with higher
rights (such as a bridleway) or neither. The rights for equestrian traffic
are those appropriate to the status of the specific path as modified by any
permissions granted or by any orders or byelaws applicable.

As for tagging ...

IMHO the tag horse=no should mean no riding OR LEADING of horses. This is
not a strict parallel of bicycle=no, which I suspect - not unreasonably - is
taken to mean to riding of bicycles (but they can be wheeled or carried).

While this is not entirely logical, there is some justification inasmuch as:

1. The prohibition of horses is usually both to protect pedestrians AND to
protect the surface of the path and even leading a horse can seriously
impact on pedestrian use if the path is not very wide (some people would be
fearful of close proximity walking beside a horse whether led or ridden) and
can significantly churn up a soft surface. Whereas wheeling (or carrying) a
bike is unlikely to significantly inconvenience pedestrians nor to do any
harm to the path.

2. Perhaps horse=no should mean that you cannot ride or lead a horse - but
you can carry it (like a bike)? (;>)

Mike Harris

> -----Original Message-----
> From: tagging-bounces at openstreetmap.org 
> [mailto:tagging-bounces at openstreetmap.org] On Behalf Of Dave F.
> Sent: 06 December 2009 15:00
> To: Tag discussion, strategy and related tools
> Subject: Re: [Tagging] bicycle=no
> Roy Wallace wrote:
> > Ok, so horse=no currently refers to "using a horse as a 
> vehicle"? Does 
> > it not also imply that the possession/leading of a horse is 
> > prohibited?
> The vast majority of canals within the UK have towpaths that 
> you're not allowed to ride a horse along. However they can be 
> used to tow barges.
> Maybe horse=yes, horse_riding=no?
> & the same for bikes?
> Dave F.
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