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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 633 km 71% 412 km 46% 2019‑11‑26 16m
Cambridgeshire 235 4111 3227 km 1532 km 47% 944 km 29% 2020‑12‑29 3m
Cornwall 213 6577 4427 km 798 km 18% 129 km 2% 2020‑12‑29 3m
Derbyshire 280 9874 5222 km 4453 km 85% 467 km 8% 2021‑03‑22 3w
Devon 426 6602 5013 km 3637 km 72% 3495 km 69% 2020‑12‑30 3m
East Riding of Yorkshire 171 1838 1624 km 788 km 48% 37 km 2% 2018‑02‑02 3y
East Sussex 109 4871 3190 km 1020 km 31% 192 km 6% 2021‑03‑24 3w
Essex 314 10153 6405 km 2021 km 31% 1092 km 17% 2021‑03‑15 4w
Gloucestershire 266 10044 5517 km 2118 km 38% 893 km 16% 2020‑10‑19 5m
Hampshire 273 7324 4603 km 3916 km 85% 496 km 10% 2020‑05‑22 10m
Herefordshire 246 4581 3494 km 1685 km 48% 984 km 28% 2020‑11‑06 5m
Hertfordshire 137 5523 3159 km 2542 km 80% 2162 km 68% 2020‑09‑07 7m
Isle of Wight 20 1438 856 km 863 km 100% 862 km 100% 2017‑07‑21 3y
Kent 62 9706 6883 km 2484 km 36% 1214 km 17% 2017‑11‑01 3y
Lancashire 233 11419 5547 km 3989 km 71% 3829 km 69% 2018‑01‑23 3y
Norfolk 546 5846 3871 km 3369 km 87% 3360 km 86% 2020‑12‑10 4m
North Yorkshire 730 12797 10247 km 3173 km 30% 102 km 0% 2020‑12‑14 4m
Oxfordshire 322 6015 4241 km 2490 km 58% 1079 km 25% 2020‑12‑09 4m
Somerset 341 9812 6147 km 5669 km 92% 5562 km 90% 2020‑03‑23 12m
South Gloucestershire 46 2293 1264 km 248 km 19% 22 km 1% 2021‑01‑13 3m
Suffolk 484 10444 5747 km 2471 km 43% 2219 km 38% 2021‑01‑13 3m
Warwickshire 18 3318 2839 km 2131 km 75% 1045 km 36% 2021‑02‑03 2m
Worcestershire 198 15695 4589 km 2562 km 55% 1448 km 31% 2020‑06‑09 10m

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.