Improving Our Public Rights of Way Network

Our aims and policies

The aim of the Public Rights of Way team is that the Public Rights of Way network in Cheshire East should be correctly recorded on the Definitive Map and Statement, available and easy to use, and free from obstructions, in order to fulfil statutory duties and deliver health and wellbeing, social, economic and environmental benefits.

We are working towards this aim using the following policies agreed by the Rights of Way Committee of the Council:

The progress that we make towards this aim, in terms of network management, Definitive Map Modification Orders and improvement works, is captured each year in annual reports presented to the Rights of Way Committee of the Council at its June meetings. 

Benchmarking

Two benchmarking exercises undertaken in 2012/2013 compared authorities from around the country and found that the Public Rights of Way team at Cheshire East Council works efficiently by:

  • delivering a joint-second highest ‘Ease of Use’ of network score
  • working with a below-average budget per km length of network
  • securing some of the lowest per item costs for furniture materials and installation
  • maintaining a manageable waiting list of Definitive Map Modification Order applications by progressing through casework efficiently
  • delivering a sustainable future workload projection that balances public expectations, resources and statutory duties for the determination of Definitive Map Modification Order applications

The full reports of the benchmarking exercise can be downloaded:

Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) 2011-2026

View from top of Shutlingsloe hillUnder the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, every highway authority in England was required to prepare and publish a Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) for its area. The plan must then be assessed and reviewed within ten years and at similar intervals thereafter. ROWIPs were created to publish the authority's assessment of:

  • the extent to which the local Public Rights of Way network meets the present and future needs of the public
  • the opportunities provided by local Public Rights of Way for exercise and other forms of open-air recreation and the enjoyment of the local authority's area
  • the accessibility of local Public Rights of Way for blind or partially sighted persons and others with mobility problems

The ROWIP for Cheshire East has been developed through consultation with members of the public, user groups and parish and town councils. The document covers the period 2011-2026. This strategy is integrated into the Local Transport Plan in recognition of walking and cycling as means of travel. 

ROWIPs were also designed to contain a statement of the action which the authority proposed to take for the management of local Public Rights of Way, and for securing an improved network of those routes.  Under this strategy there will be rolling 4-year implementation plans detailing projects through which the policies and initiatives stated in the ROWIP will be delivered.