Public rights of way review
Public rights of way are one of the most accessible facilities for enabling sport and recreation activities. They are also unique to our heritage and identity, providing a link to our past and allowing access to our countryside today. However, thousands of routes are poorly maintained and even under threat, due to a self-imposed cut-off date of 2026 for mapping older public rights of way. Without action many of these paths will be lost, with equestrian activities likely to lose the most.
- The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 introduced a cut-off date of 2026 for the recording of pre-1949 public rights of way on the understanding that they would be processed in time.
- Highway authorities do not have the resources to record these paths as many have significant backlogs of applications which will take decades to work through.
- A stakeholder working group found consensus and published ‘Stepping Forward’ in 2010, which made recommendations to speed up the mapping process.
- DEFRA has launched a consultation on reforming legislation which includes the recommendations made in ‘Stepping Forward’.
- The proposals relate to cutting red tape to help speed up the process of making public path orders.
- The intention is to keep the 2026 cut off date.
- The Alliance will respond to the consultation in support of proposals that speed up the process of making public path orders so long as the rights public are not prejudiced.
- The consultation and guidance on how to respond is available here.
For further information please contact Martin Key, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Respond to the consultation before 6 August 2012 - click the link below.
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