Byway Open to All Traffic 526 (Capel and Wotton)

Notice of proposal

Public Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) No. 526 Capel & Wotton (D287) (Wolvens Lane)

Surrey County Council are asking for comments on a proposal to place a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) on Wolvens Lane preventing its use by motorbikes, vehicles or both.

The Countryside Access Team has recently carried out extensive repairs to the surface and boundary banks of Wolvens Lane over the winter months. The Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) runs from Sheephouse Lane, Wotton (Grid ref: 512978 147384) to its junction with BOAT No. 527 (Coldharbour Common Road) and Abinger Road, Coldharbour. It was resurfaced with stone for most of its length and since that time it has remained temporarily closed, under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, to motorised vehicles with 4 or more wheels and any horse drawn vehicle over 1500mm (4'11'') in width. This has been re-enforced on site with metal gates and appropriate traffic signs. The temporary closure is to allow the boundary banks and surface to consolidate and settle down following the works. Prior to the works, the surface of the BOAT, its boundary banks and neighbouring land had suffered significant misuse from motorised vehicles, including motorbikes.

Officers now have concerns that if/when the BOAT is re-opened to motorised vehicles, some irresponsible motorised vehicle drivers will continue to damage the surface and boundary banks. Some may also cause a danger to other users including walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

This consultation seeks views on whether a more permanent solution to preventing damage and increasing safety should be considered.

The Council's policy for making TROs states "That TROs be used proactively where a countywide assessment indicates a BOAT is in poor condition, in need of significant repair and it is considered necessary to restrict traffic, coupled with programmes of repair as resources permit."

The options we are considering are:

  1. 1. To promote a permanent TRO to restrict all motorised vehicles with 2 or more wheels and all horse drawn carriages exceeding a width of 1500mm (4'11'') from using the BOAT.
  2. To promote a permanent TRO as above for horse drawn carriages but only restrict those motorised vehicles with 4 or more wheels.
  3. To promote an Experimental TRO, which would ban all motorised vehicles, except those who had been issued with a permit to use the BOAT. Or this could be reduced to just those with 4 or more wheels who would need a permit. Numbers of permits would be restricted. Horse drawn carriages would also be restricted as in option (1).
  4. The BOAT has no restrictions.

Any restrictions would be re-enforced on site with metal gates and appropriate traffic signs. Breaking any restrictions imposed by a TRO would be a criminal offence, enforceable by the Police.

Following this consultation, a report will be made to the Surrey County Council Mole Valley Local Committee at its meeting on 9 June with the results of the consultation. A decision will be sought from Members on the way forward. If a TRO were to be promoted, it would be advertised for a statutory objection period. Members of the public can attend such meetings and a certain number are able to speak to the item. Further details on this can be provided on request.

Any comments on the above options should be sent by email to or by letter to Countryside Access, Whitebeam Lodge, Merrow Depot, Merrow Lane, Guildford, GU4 7BQ by 19 April 2021.

Files available to download