North East Lincolnshire has approximately 200 kilometres of Public Rights of Way comprising 140 footpaths and 61 bridleways. There are currently no "Restricted Byways" or "Byways Open to all Traffic" recorded on the Definitive Map and Statement.
The Council is responsible for the Public Rights of Way in 22 Parishes, and within the urban areas of Grimsby and Cleethorpes. There is a sharp contrast between the character of paths in the urban, suburban and rural area within the boundaries of the authority. Several parishes are situated on the first inclines of the Lincolnshire Wolds chalk escarpment, and offer attractive networks of public footpaths with views, tranquillity and varied landscapes.
What are Public Rights of Way?
Public Rights of Way are highways in the same way that a carriageway is a highway, and the public are entitled to use them, to pass and repass, according to their status as either a Footpath, Bridleway or Byway:
- Public Footpath, over which the right is on foot only;
- Public Bridleway, over which the right of way is on foot, on horseback and on pedal cycle, possibly with an additional right to drive animals;
- Byway Open to all Traffic, over which there are vehicular rights, but is generally used by walkers, horse riders and cyclists.
They were first registered in 1949 by Parish Councils and Parish Meetings, although many date back to the Enclosure movement of the 17th and 18th centuries. Public Rights of Way are continually being created through presumed dedication, or by agreement with the Highway Authority.
On Public Rights of Way you can:
- Take a pram, pushchair or wheelchair if practicable,
- Take a dog (on a lead or under close control),
- Take a short route around an illegal obstruction or remove it sufficiently to get past.
How do you find out where Public Rights of Way are?
The Authority must publish and keep up-to-date a plan and a statement showing the location of each Public Right of Way. The Definitive Map, as it is called, is kept in the Public Rights of Way Office and is available for public inspection via appointment only. All the Definitive Map information is passed through to Ordnance Survey, who produce 'Explorer' and other maps which show public rights of way. These maps can be purchased from any good bookshop.
A full list of Definitive Map Modification Orders can be found on the Register of Definitive Map Modification Orders page.
What should you find on any Public Right of Way?
- Where a path starts at a metalled road it should be signed, and waymarked with coloured discus along its route,
- All structures such as stiles, gates, and bridges should be safe and accessible,
- Path surfaces should reasonably flat, and the correct width,
- Paths should be free from obstructions, and other nuisances.
The Highway Authority has powers to ensure that rights of way are kept open in accordance with Statute.