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Public Rights of Way Progress

County Parishes RoWs LTotal Ldesignation Lprow_ref GIS Update
Bath and North East Somerset 86 2104 886 km 645 km 72% 416 km 47% 2019‑11‑26 3y
Buckinghamshire 169 5014 3345 km 1088 km 32% 107 km 3% 2020‑05‑14 2y
Cambridgeshire 236 4115 3228 km 1636 km 50% 1043 km 32% 2022‑03‑01 9m
Cornwall 212 6598 4440 km 1733 km 39% 899 km 20% 2022‑06‑30 5m
Derbyshire 280 9882 5225 km 4939 km 94% 1107 km 21% 2022‑06‑05 6m
Devon 426 6611 5016 km 3790 km 75% 3546 km 70% 2022‑07‑18 4m
Dorset 266 6907 4626 km 3094 km 66% 2045 km 44% 2022‑07‑18 4m
East Riding of Yorkshire 171 1838 1624 km 906 km 55% 63 km 3% 2018‑02‑02 4y
East Sussex 109 7904 3193 km 1223 km 38% 678 km 21% 2022‑02‑17 9m
Essex 314 10160 6405 km 3118 km 48% 2186 km 34% 2022‑05‑30 6m
Gloucestershire 266 10056 5520 km 2505 km 45% 1151 km 20% 2021‑11‑11 12m
Hampshire 274 7400 4845 km 3985 km 82% 571 km 11% 2022‑05‑05 7m
Herefordshire 246 4581 3494 km 1832 km 52% 1155 km 33% 2020‑11‑06 2y
Hertfordshire 137 5523 3159 km 2685 km 85% 2332 km 73% 2020‑09‑07 2y
Isle of Wight 20 1438 856 km 862 km 100% 861 km 100% 2017‑07‑21 5y
Kent 62 9746 6897 km 2616 km 37% 1269 km 18% 2022‑02‑28 9m
Lancashire 233 11419 5547 km 5738 km 103% 5541 km 99% 2018‑01‑23 4y
Lincolnshire 543 4742 4015 km 203 km 5% 46 km 1% 2021‑06‑22 17m
Norfolk 546 5861 3874 km 3420 km 88% 3407 km 87% 2022‑03‑09 8m
North Yorkshire 730 12817 10264 km 4779 km 46% 104 km 1% 2022‑06‑30 5m
Oxfordshire 322 6015 4241 km 2486 km 58% 1191 km 28% 2020‑12‑09 23m
Somerset 341 9818 6150 km 5690 km 92% 5565 km 90% 2021‑09‑28 14m
South Gloucestershire 46 2292 1264 km 568 km 44% 305 km 24% 2021‑11‑29 12m
Suffolk 484 10444 5747 km 2866 km 49% 2551 km 44% 2022‑10‑11 7w
Warwickshire 18 3322 2840 km 2269 km 79% 1304 km 45% 2021‑12‑22 11m
Wiltshire 259 8344 5920 km 2336 km 39% 328 km 5% 2021‑11‑23 12m
Worcestershire 198 15695 4589 km 2608 km 56% 1457 km 31% 2022‑08‑16 3m

Note that the "Ldesignation" lengths are only approximate (and will normally be an over-estimate) as the tool does not check precise parishes for ways with a designation tag but no prow_ref tag. Consequently, it includes any OSM ways of this type that fall within the rectangular boundaing box of each parish, rather than just those that are contained within the parish boundaries.

About this tool

This tool takes information about Public Rights of Way from four sources and flags up possible errors / omissions / things to check. Currently only a handful of counties are available, but hopefully more will be added in due course. The data sources are:

  1. Official GIS data from County Councils. Many councils now have digital versions of the legal 'Definitive Map' document they are obliged to maintain. Many have made their data files available fir re-use under a suitable licence (see my open data page). Vector routes, path numbers, designations, lengths and bounding boxes can be extracted automatically from data files. I've started using the files from Barry Cornelius's rowmaps for this, as Barry has already done the hard work in converting the myriad of different formats from the councils into a standard KML format. Updates to this data depend on how frequently the corresponding council provides updates. I would like to have new data for ecah county at least once a year, but this isn't always available.
  2. Volunteer-Mapped data from OpenStreetMap. Path numbers, designations, lengths, bounding boxes, last update details, etc. can be extracted automatically on a parish by parish basis using the XAPI. The tool will extract all ways with a prow_ref=* tag within the parish's bounding box. The data from OSM is updated on a rolling basis with each parish getting an update roughly once every couple of weeks. There is a button at the bottom of each parish page to request a quicker update — which will usually be within half-an-hour.
  3. Definitive Statements. These are written documents providing textural descriptions of each Public Right of Way. Some councils have only paper records, but many now have digital versions. Sometimes these are unstructured formatted text documents (and so data needs to be manually extracted) but other councils have databases or spreadsheets (which allow automatic extraction of route numbers and statuses.
  4. Manual classification of OSM completion level. This would be entered by tool users, after comparing the official data with the current mapping in OSM.

I've got scripts to do the extraction from first two sources set up. I can do the third behind the scenes, and there is an experimental interface set up for the fourth. Get in touch if you would like to try this out.

With the data the tool can then flag up issues such as:

The tool is currently under development, so various key bits of functionality are not implemented yet. For details see the Known Issues and To Do List.

Suggested uses for OSM Mapping

However, please do not use the PRoW GIS data alone to map routes in OSM. The data may not be completely accurate or well-aligned, and it is important that we capture the physical presence and accessibility of routes on the ground too. Simply copying the Council's GIS data into OSM adds very little to the map. Correctly mapping a path with the condition of the surface, adjacent hedges, gates and stiles is much more useful. See also my advice for routes not following the definitive line.

Adding new authorities

I intend to add more areas as and when I have time to do so. The main constraints though are having access to the data and it being available for re-use under a suitable licence for use in OpenStreetMap. The basic requirements are:

For my own use (and for anyone else who's interested) I've written a set of import instructions outlining the process of adding a new county to the tool.

It is also useful if the authority makes available its Definitive Statements, List of Streets and a list of Traffic Regulation Orders affecting Public Rights of Way. See my Council PRoW Open Data page for an incomplete list of what is available from each authority.