From April 2006, local authorities were granted new powers under section 129A to 129G of the Highways Act 1980 to make 'gating orders' to help deal with anti-social behaviour. The Council may make a gating order to restrict the use, by the public of a 'relevant highway' for which it is the Highway Authority, and may authorise the placing of gates at each end or at any point on the highway.
A 'relevant highway' for the purposes of a gating order can be an alleyway, footpath, bridleway or carriageway (road) and any other path or track over which the public has a right of way, but special roads, trunk roads and classified or principal roads cannot be relevant highways.
Unlike a Stopping up Order, a gating order doesn't stop existing rights of way permanently. It can be revoked or changed if necessary. Gating Orders will not always be appropriate, and alternatives to deal with crime and anti-social behaviour in the area will be explored first.
In order to impose a Gating Order, the local authority must be satisfied that these three criteria are met:
- The shops or houses on the 'relevant highway' are affected by crime or anti-social behaviour
- The 'relevant highway' is contributing to criminal offences or anti-social behaviour, and;
- It is appropriate to impose the order to reduce crime or anti-social behaviour.
For more information on the powers granted to local authorities, please take a look at information on http://www.legislation.gov.uk.