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Draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2018-2028

Published: 25/09/2018

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet will be asked to consider the draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan and Policy & Procedures booklet and agree to release the Plan and booklet for the statutory three month public consultation period when it meets on 25 September.

All Local Highway Authorities must produce a Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) for a 10 year period. This second ROWIP evaluates the 2008-18 Plan, assesses the 2018 network and set out actions for the life of the new Plan.

The 2008-18 Plan’s aims were expressed as being to “…secure improvements to the management, maintenance, protection and recording of the [public rights of way] network, to ensure that it becomes more open and accessible to the public.”

Feedback from users has been generally positive and some aspects of the local rights of way network meet present needs. For example:

·         Providing access to many different parts of the County for regular walking.

·         Footpaths mainly in good useable condition.

·         Noticeable improvements in recent years.

·         Good signposting from roads.

However, there are areas which can be improved, for example:

  • Waymarking is not as consistent as some users would like.
  • There are not enough bridleways for riders to enable them to ride off-road.
  • Wheelchair users are not all able to access the Wales Coast Path and experience some problems with the surfacing on local footpaths.
  • Landowners have experienced problems as a result of inappropriate behaviour by users and their dogs.
  • There is insufficient information about the ROW network, in terms of what is there, and people’s rights and responsibilities.

The following have been identified as some key actions to take forward in this second Plan:

  • Improve accessibility of the network
  • Make better use of the network (walking for health, active travel, etc)
  • Better promotion and information about the network

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, said:

“I welcome this draft plan and encourage people to feed in their comments so that we can deliver a modern rights of way network for the communities in Flintshire. As a result of early findings in the first Plan, we have already developed a Policy and Procedure booklet as a priority, in order that there is widespread understanding and transparency about what Flintshire County Council does and how it does it.”