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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 630 km 71% 417 km 47% 2019‑11‑26 4y
Buckinghamshire 171 5030 3346 km 2208 km 65% 1181 km 35% 2023‑08‑18 10m
Cambridgeshire 236 4117 3229 km 1826 km 56% 1211 km 37% 2024‑01‑27 5m
Cornwall 212 6646 4453 km 3368 km 75% 2732 km 61% 2024‑07‑02 11d
Derbyshire 280 9890 5227 km 4834 km 92% 1371 km 26% 2024‑01‑28 5m
Devon 426 6614 5017 km 3979 km 79% 3642 km 72% 2023‑07‑19 11m
Dorset 266 6931 4629 km 3718 km 80% 2662 km 57% 2024‑01‑28 5m
East Riding of Yorkshire 171 1838 1624 km 916 km 56% 66 km 4% 2018‑02‑02 6y
East Sussex 109 7906 3195 km 1315 km 41% 682 km 21% 2023‑07‑18 11m
Essex 318 10222 6408 km 3591 km 56% 2854 km 44% 2024‑02‑28 4m
Gloucestershire 266 10077 5524 km 3125 km 56% 1825 km 33% 2023‑12‑15 6m
Hampshire 274 7400 4845 km 4159 km 85% 809 km 16% 2022‑05‑05 2y
Herefordshire 246 4581 3494 km 1865 km 53% 1179 km 33% 2020‑11‑06 3y
Hertfordshire 138 5562 3176 km 2885 km 90% 2544 km 80% 2023‑12‑04 7m
Isle of Wight 20 1438 856 km 858 km 100% 855 km 99% 2017‑07‑21 6y
Kent 62 9755 6899 km 2874 km 41% 1558 km 22% 2023‑04‑25 14m
Lancashire 233 11419 5547 km 5776 km 104% 5538 km 99% 2018‑01‑23 6y
Lincolnshire 543 4742 4015 km 379 km 9% 213 km 5% 2021‑06‑22 3y
Norfolk 546 5887 3888 km 3479 km 89% 3469 km 89% 2024‑06‑11 4w
North Yorkshire 730 12837 10279 km 5369 km 52% 172 km 1% 2024‑01‑07 6m
Oxfordshire 323 6077 4258 km 2689 km 63% 1617 km 37% 2024‑02‑12 4m
Somerset 341 9821 6150 km 5732 km 93% 5572 km 90% 2023‑09‑29 9m
South Gloucestershire 46 2292 1266 km 665 km 52% 444 km 35% 2022‑12‑20 18m
Suffolk 484 10456 5758 km 3057 km 53% 2751 km 47% 2024‑04‑09 3m
Warwickshire 18 3324 2841 km 2306 km 81% 1331 km 46% 2024‑02‑14 4m
Wiltshire 259 8349 5925 km 3264 km 55% 1272 km 21% 2024‑01‑31 5m
Worcestershire 198 15695 4589 km 2676 km 58% 1462 km 31% 2022‑08‑16 22m

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.