Monday, 7 July 2008

20,000 footpaths are at risk

Another E-Petition has appeared on the Government site.

Rights of way that are not recorded by 2026 could be lost forever, the full story is on grough.

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 introduced a deadline for the recording of historic rights of way on definitive maps (the legal record of public rights of way). After 1 January 2026 most pre-1949 paths which have not been recorded on these maps will be lost forever. An estimated 20,000 paths could be lost because of this measure, including many in towns and cities. The government funded project to assist with the researching and recording of these routes has been terminated without recording a single path but when the Countryside and Rights of Way Bill was going through Parliament the then Minister, Michael Meacher said “ … we do not intend to [bring definitively to a close the exercise of determining the rights of way network] without ensuring that there are adequate resources to make it possible for all existing paths that can reasonably be found to be found.” The public therefore had a legitimate expectation that something would be done to record the so-called lost ways. Now that the promised resources have been withdrawn repeal of the cut-off date is essential.

E-Petition here

1 comment:

  1. While I have sympathy with the sentiments of this, it is a bit misleading.

    It's not so much that the footpaths will be lost, it's really that they've never been discovered, or more accurately re-discovered over hundreds of years)

    There is a time limit on this exercise but the problem has really been the amount of time and resources that local councils have been able to devote to this. In the big scheme of things while I've found most local authorities to be sympathetic this is hardly going to be a priority over, say, aids and adaptations to the disabled or caring costs.

    The aim of any campaign should be to simply change the deadline ir do away with it forever).

    No doubt there will be conspiracy theorists who think this is more to do with avoiding footpath designation in development sites, but there really is a lot of work - detective work - involved in reclaiming some of these ancient rights of way that may have been ignored for 200 or 300 years.