What is a Public Right of Way (PROW)?
Like a public road, a public right of way is a highway which anybody may use at any time. Public rights of way are recorded on a Definitive Map and Statement (a legal record of public rights of way held by County and Unitary authorities). Each route is classified according to the nature of public rights along them.
Members of the public rights and responsibilities include to: -
- pass and re-pass on any public right of way, even if it hasn't been used for many years
- stop to look at the view, take a photograph
- sit down to rest and so on
- take a pram, pushchair and wheelchair but expect to encounter stiles
- take a dog, preferably on a lead and always under close control
- take a short route around an illegal obstruction or remove an illegal obstacle sufficiently to get past.
Highway Authority /County Councils are responsible for protecting established public rights of way as shown on the Definitive Map. They have a duty to maintain them in a condition consistent with their purpose and level of use. This includes path, bridge, stile and gate repairs, adequate signage, removal of obstructions and clearance of overgrowth. They also maintain liaison with landowners over maintenance, obstructions and diversions.
Click Advice & Rights for more information prepared by Ramblers Central Office