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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 639 km 72% 412 km 46% 2019‑11‑26 22m
Cambridgeshire 236 4115 3228 km 1568 km 48% 992 km 30% 2021‑06‑29 2m
Cornwall 213 6580 4435 km 829 km 18% 152 km 3% 2021‑06‑24 3m
Derbyshire 280 9880 5224 km 4502 km 86% 468 km 8% 2021‑06‑30 2m
Devon 426 6602 5013 km 3678 km 73% 3524 km 70% 2020‑12‑30 8m
East Riding of Yorkshire 171 1838 1624 km 818 km 50% 37 km 2% 2018‑02‑02 3y
East Sussex 109 4871 3190 km 1208 km 37% 514 km 16% 2021‑03‑24 6m
Essex 314 10155 6407 km 2058 km 32% 1124 km 17% 2021‑06‑04 3m
Gloucestershire 266 10044 5517 km 2167 km 39% 944 km 17% 2020‑10‑19 11m
Hampshire 273 7324 4603 km 3937 km 85% 508 km 11% 2020‑05‑22 16m
Herefordshire 246 4581 3494 km 1734 km 49% 1081 km 30% 2020‑11‑06 10m
Hertfordshire 137 5523 3159 km 2582 km 81% 2224 km 70% 2020‑09‑07 12m
Isle of Wight 20 1438 856 km 863 km 100% 862 km 100% 2017‑07‑21 4y
Kent 62 9706 6883 km 2522 km 36% 1215 km 17% 2017‑11‑01 3y
Lancashire 233 11419 5547 km 4518 km 81% 4366 km 78% 2018‑01‑23 3y
Norfolk 546 5846 3871 km 3380 km 87% 3371 km 87% 2020‑12‑10 9m
North Yorkshire 730 12797 10247 km 3552 km 34% 102 km 0% 2020‑12‑14 9m
Oxfordshire 322 6015 4241 km 2407 km 56% 1131 km 26% 2020‑12‑09 9m
Somerset 341 9812 6147 km 5671 km 92% 5561 km 90% 2020‑03‑23 18m
South Gloucestershire 46 2293 1264 km 268 km 21% 22 km 1% 2021‑01‑13 8m
Suffolk 484 10446 5745 km 2508 km 43% 2253 km 39% 2021‑07‑06 2m
Warwickshire 18 3318 2839 km 2172 km 76% 1124 km 39% 2021‑02‑03 7m
Wiltshire 259 8341 5919 km 2043 km 34% 240 km 4% 2021‑01‑28 7m
Worcestershire 198 15695 4589 km 2569 km 55% 1452 km 31% 2020‑06‑09 15m

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.