Have your say on Rights of Way

Somerset County Council is seeking views on a draft Improvement Plan that sets out how it will manage and improve public rights of way across Somerset.

The County Council maintains over 6000km of footpaths and bridleways and byways, collectively known as Rights of Way. The Improvement Plan sets out how the Council will continue to develop this network with partners and private landowners.

The existing network of public rights of way dates back over 60 years and in many areas there has been little change. In other places the landscape has changed and people use rights of way more often for leisure activities.

Somerset County Council and other landowners and agencies want to provide a network of routes that meets the current and future needs of both residents and visitors to Somerset, achieved within the current legal framework and within limited resources. Views are being sought on the priorities and actions that are detailed in the draft Improvement Plan.

Cllr Harvey Siggs, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Rights of Way, said: “The public rights of way network is key to enabling residents and visitors alike to access services and enjoy the beauty of Somerset’s diverse natural and built environment. This Plan aims to help us to agree our priorities to make Somerset a choice destination for enjoyable walking, riding and cycling. Get in touch by Tuesday 10 March with your comments and views.”

The full document is available at local council offices and libraries and can also be viewed online at www.somerset.gov.uk/ROWIPConsultation

The consultation will end on Tuesday 10th March 2015.

To receive a paper copy of the document contact Rights of Way Service, Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton TA1 4DY, email  rightsofway@somerset.gov.uk or telephone 0845 3459155

  • Rights of way is a collective term for all paths that residents or visitors may use when out in the countryside or even when walking about town using urban footpaths. Walkers, cyclists and equestrians all make use of this network of footpaths and bridleways.
  • Public Rights of Way are more than a valuable recreational resource – they are also an important asset in terms of the rural economy, tourism, sustainable transport, social inclusion and health and well being.