Roads Act 1993
Extinguishment of public rights of way.
73.—(1) Where a local authority proposes to extinguish a public right of way it shall—
(a) publish in one or more newspapers circulating in the area where the public right of way proposed to be extinguished is located a notice indicating the times at which, the period (which shall be not less than one month) during which and the place where a map showing such public right of way may be inspected and stating that objections or representations may be made in writing to the local authority in relation to such proposal before a specified date (which shall be not less than two weeks after the end of the period for inspection) and stating that persons making such objections or representations may make a request in writing to state their case at an oral hearing conducted by a person appointed by the local authority for that purpose,
(b) affix a copy of such notice in a prominent position at each end of the public right of way proposed to be extinguished and leave it in place for a period or periods which shall in aggregate be not less than fourteen days,
(c) consider any objections or representations made to it under paragraph (a) and not withdrawn,
(d) if it considers it appropriate, afford an opportunity to persons making objections or representations and who so request in writing to state their case at an oral hearing conducted by a person appointed by the local authority and consider the report and any recommendation of the person so appointed.
(2) (a) A local authority may make an order extinguishing the right of way specified in the notice published under subsection (1) (a), or part thereof.
(b) A local authority shall not make an order under paragraph (a) until it has complied with subsection (1).
(3) (a) An order under subsection (2) relating to a national road or a regional road shall have no effect unless and until the Minister approves the order.
(b) The Minister may, by order, approve the order with or without modifications (or conditions) or he may refuse to approve the order.
(c) The Minister shall consult with the Authority before making an order under this subsection relating to a national road.
(4) (a) An order made under subsection (2) may—
(i) specify a date on which the extinguishment shall come into effect,
(ii) specify conditions (including conditions relating to the recovery of the costs referred to in subsection (12)) which shall be complied with before the extinguishment comes into effect.
(b) Where an order extinguishing a public right of way made by a local authority or an order approved by the Minister with or without modifications or conditions does not specify when the extinguishment shall come into effect, the extinguishment shall come into effect—
(i) in the case of a local road, from the date on which the order is made by the local authority,
(ii) in the case of a national road or a regional road, from the date on which the order approving the extinguishment, with or without modifications or conditions, is made by the Minister.
(5) Notwithstanding any other enactment, where a public right of way over a public road or a part thereof is extinguished under this section, the road authority shall no longer be responsible for the maintenance of such road or part thereof with effect from the date on which the extinguishment of the public right of way comes into effect in accordance with subsection (4).
(6) A local authority shall, without prejudice to any existing private right of way, ensure the carrying out of any works necessary—
(a) to effect the extinguishment of a public right of way under this section,
(b) for the safety of road users arising from the extinguishment of a public right of way,
(c) to ensure as far as reasonably practicable that the land over which a public right of way has been extinguished does not become an eyesore.
(7) A local authority shall, as soon as may be after the date on which a public right of way has been extinguished, publish notice of the extinguishment in the newspaper or newspapers in which notice of the proposed extinguishment was published under subsection (1) (a) and shall notify in writing any person who made written objections or representations to it in relation to such extinguishment.
(8) The consideration of objections or representations and the report and any recommendation of a person appointed under subsection (1) and the making of an order under subsection (2) shall be reserved functions.
(9) A person who, without lawful authority, removes, or damages or defaces a notice erected in accordance with subsection (1) (b) shall be guilty of an offence.
(10) A person who obstructs, impedes or otherwise interferes with a public right of way or who destroys or damages a public right of way save as is provided for in law shall be guilty of an offence.
(11) It shall be a function of a local authority to protect the right of the public to use public rights of way in its administrative area.
(12) Where a local authority extinguishes a public right of way solely or partly to facilitate the development of land, the authority—
(a) shall be entitled to recover from the person developing, or proposing to develop, the land all or a reasonable portion of the costs incurred by it in extinguishing such right of way,
(b) may, by notice in writing, require the person developing, or proposing to develop, the land to carry out such works as it considers necessary to give effect to subsection (6),
(c) may, where a person fails to comply with a notice under paragraph (b), carry out the works specified in the notice or such other works as it considers necessary to give effect to subsection (6) and shall be entitled to recover any reasonable costs incurred by it in carrying out such works from the person on whom the notice was served as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.
(13) In this section a “local authority” means—
(a) where the public right of way to be extinguished is over a public road, a road authority,
(b) in any other case, a planning authority.
(14) This section shall not apply where the extinguishment of a public right of way is authorised by a scheme under Part IV or under any enactment for which the Minister for the Environment is not the appropriate Minister or under any enactment relating to the compulsory acquisition of land.
(15) Where, before the repeal under section 4 of the enactments referred to hereunder, an application has been made to the Minister—
(a) under section 84 (4) (a) (i) of the Act of 1946, for his consent to the extinguishment of a public right of way over a road, or
(b) under section 76 of the Act of 1963, as amended by section 43 of the Act of 1976, for his approval to an order extinguishing a public right of way,
and such application has not been determined by the Minister or withdrawn, the enactment which applied before such repeal shall continue to so apply.
Power pursuant to subs. (3) exercised (18.08.2017) by Roads Act 1993 (Extinguishment of Public Right of Way) Order 2017 (S.I. No. 238 of 2017).