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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 638 km 72% 416 km 47% 2019‑11‑26 2y
Buckinghamshire 169 5014 3345 km 1083 km 32% 107 km 3% 2020‑05‑14 2y
Cambridgeshire 236 4115 3228 km 1609 km 49% 1032 km 31% 2022‑03‑01 2m
Cornwall 213 6580 4435 km 979 km 22% 173 km 3% 2021‑06‑24 10m
Derbyshire 280 9880 5224 km 4550 km 87% 477 km 9% 2021‑10‑13 7m
Devon 426 6608 5016 km 3733 km 74% 3546 km 70% 2021‑10‑07 7m
Dorset 266 6902 4626 km 3068 km 66% 2032 km 43% 2022‑01‑02 4m
East Riding of Yorkshire 171 1838 1624 km 887 km 54% 37 km 2% 2018‑02‑02 4y
East Sussex 109 4871 3190 km 1560 km 48% 1039 km 32% 2021‑03‑24 13m
Essex 314 10158 6405 km 2109 km 32% 1170 km 18% 2022‑03‑02 2m
Gloucestershire 266 10056 5520 km 2308 km 41% 987 km 17% 2021‑11‑11 6m
Hampshire 273 7324 4603 km 3992 km 86% 570 km 12% 2020‑05‑22 23m
Herefordshire 246 4581 3494 km 1765 km 50% 1098 km 31% 2020‑11‑06 18m
Hertfordshire 137 5523 3159 km 2705 km 85% 2289 km 72% 2020‑09‑07 20m
Isle of Wight 20 1438 856 km 863 km 100% 862 km 100% 2017‑07‑21 4y
Kent 62 9746 6897 km 2582 km 37% 1263 km 18% 2022‑02‑28 2m
Lancashire 233 11419 5547 km 5703 km 102% 5539 km 99% 2018‑01‑23 4y
Lincolnshire 543 4742 4015 km 242 km 6% 46 km 1% 2021‑06‑22 10m
Norfolk 546 5848 3872 km 3405 km 87% 3390 km 87% 2021‑09‑08 8m
North Yorkshire 730 12811 10257 km 4301 km 41% 103 km 1% 2021‑10‑31 6m
Oxfordshire 322 6015 4241 km 2452 km 57% 1140 km 26% 2020‑12‑09 17m
Somerset 341 9818 6150 km 5673 km 92% 5559 km 90% 2021‑09‑28 7m
South Gloucestershire 46 2292 1264 km 543 km 42% 304 km 24% 2021‑11‑29 5m
Suffolk 484 10444 5747 km 2607 km 45% 2347 km 40% 2022‑04‑12 5w
Warwickshire 18 3322 2840 km 2235 km 78% 1238 km 43% 2021‑12‑22 4m
Wiltshire 259 8344 5920 km 2181 km 36% 310 km 5% 2021‑11‑23 5m
Worcestershire 198 15695 4589 km 2593 km 56% 1455 km 31% 2020‑06‑09 23m

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.