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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 643 km 72% 417 km 47% 2019‑11‑26 4y
Buckinghamshire 171 5023 3343 km 1300 km 38% 125 km 3% 2022‑08‑10 18m
Cambridgeshire 236 4117 3229 km 1819 km 56% 1200 km 37% 2024‑01‑27 4w
Cornwall 212 6614 4443 km 3325 km 74% 2658 km 59% 2023‑05‑24 9m
Derbyshire 280 9890 5227 km 4829 km 92% 1367 km 26% 2024‑01‑28 4w
Devon 426 6611 5016 km 3887 km 77% 3556 km 70% 2022‑07‑18 19m
Dorset 266 6931 4629 km 3729 km 80% 2664 km 57% 2024‑01‑28 4w
East Riding of Yorkshire 171 1838 1624 km 913 km 56% 66 km 4% 2018‑02‑02 6y
East Sussex 109 7906 3195 km 1281 km 40% 669 km 20% 2023‑07‑18 7m
Essex 316 10187 6407 km 3405 km 53% 2618 km 40% 2023‑09‑01 5m
Gloucestershire 266 10077 5524 km 3047 km 55% 1747 km 31% 2023‑12‑15 2m
Hampshire 274 7400 4845 km 4180 km 86% 803 km 16% 2022‑05‑05 21m
Herefordshire 246 4581 3494 km 1870 km 53% 1177 km 33% 2020‑11‑06 3y
Hertfordshire 138 5562 3176 km 2885 km 90% 2534 km 79% 2023‑12‑04 2m
Isle of Wight 20 1438 856 km 858 km 100% 856 km 99% 2017‑07‑21 6y
Kent 62 9755 6899 km 2853 km 41% 1551 km 22% 2023‑04‑25 10m
Lancashire 233 11419 5547 km 5760 km 103% 5536 km 99% 2018‑01‑23 6y
Lincolnshire 543 4742 4015 km 228 km 5% 46 km 1% 2021‑06‑22 2y
Norfolk 546 5876 3886 km 3473 km 89% 3462 km 89% 2023‑09‑25 5m
North Yorkshire 730 12823 10266 km 5222 km 50% 108 km 1% 2023‑05‑02 9m
Oxfordshire 323 6052 4250 km 2697 km 63% 1559 km 36% 2023‑02‑16 12m
Somerset 341 9821 6150 km 5733 km 93% 5574 km 90% 2023‑09‑29 4m
South Gloucestershire 46 2292 1266 km 662 km 52% 443 km 35% 2022‑12‑20 14m
Suffolk 484 10460 5753 km 2972 km 51% 2672 km 46% 2023‑07‑11 7m
Warwickshire 18 3324 2841 km 2297 km 80% 1324 km 46% 2024‑02‑14 11d
Wiltshire 259 8350 5923 km 2726 km 46% 755 km 12% 2022‑12‑02 14m
Worcestershire 198 15695 4589 km 2675 km 58% 1462 km 31% 2022‑08‑16 18m

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.