Agenda item

Draft Lincolnshire Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2014 -2019

(To receive a report from Andy Savage, Senior Countryside Access Officers, Lincolnshire County Council, which provides an update on the Rights of Way Improvement Plan)


Consideration was given to The Draft Lincolnshire Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2014 – 2019 which provided the Forum with the following:


·    Legislative Framework

·    Regional and National Policy

·    LCC Organisational Strategy

·    Local Transport Plan 4

·    Lincolnshire Destination Management Plan

·    Green Infrastructure Plans and Strategies

·    Different Users and their needs

·    Network Analysis

·    Review of the first Rights of Way Improvement Plan

·    Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2 – Stakeholder Consultation


It was noted that the overall vision for the Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2 was split into three themes, namely:


Theme 1


·    Network Improvements which would involve

o   Infrastructure Improvements

o   Enforcement

o   Safety

o   Green Infrastructure

o   Unclassified County Roads

o   Planning Context


Theme 2


·    Improved Customer Service which would involve

o   Reporting

o   Mapping of Public Rights of Way

o   Technology

o   Customer Focussed Policies and Working Practices

o   Information Provision


Theme 3


·    Social Inclusion which would involve

o   Equality and Diversity

o   Community Involvement

o   Parish Councils

o   Health Agenda


The Forum was given an opportunity to ask questions relating to the Draft Report presented and some of the points raised during discussion included the following:


·    Figures for motor vehicles off-roading needed to be included in the report;

·    Rights of Way budget likely to be reduced in future years;

·    Rural Payments Authority were tightening up their process and landowners were not now automatically receiving their full rural payment entitlements if enforcement action had been taken against them;

·    The Rural Payments Authority process was likely to change in the near future;

·    Increased heavy traffic was noted in Leasingham due to the development of an anaerobic digester in the area;

·    Lincolnshire County Council would be working with Network Rail to address safety concerns over rail crossings;

·    A single mapping layer of all unsurfaced roads in the County was going to be produced;

·    Lincolnshire County Council would work closely with Developers to maximise opportunities for improved access in proposed developments;

·    Concern was expressed that no resolution dates were being given to complainants who had reported Rights of Way issues although it was acknowledged where the complaint related to an enforcement issue, this may be resolved naturally – ie after harvest, ploughing etc;

·    It was noted that the Countryside Microsite was being currently revamped and incorporated into the main Lincolnshire County Council website;

·    The Countryside Access Map needed to be more reliable as it often broke down;

·    Cross boundary issues should be identified;

·    There was no set national standard relating to Rights of Way mapping although it was noted that one private company was looking at incorporating all Rights of Way mapping into one database;

·    Rights of Way needed to be made more accessible to users and the disabled;

·    Volunteer groups were being used to assist in the management of the Rights of Way network and this was likely to continue in the future as budgets for Rights of Way were likely to be reduced further;

·    Ramblers' Association had undertaken condition surveys on behalf of Lincolnshire County Council;

·    The County Council would be considering how to improve the Parish Paths Partnership Scheme;

·    Rights of Way were currently part of the Health and Wellbeing Agenda and needed to be improved in order to encourage people to exercise;

·    Needed to look more widely at our key partners in order to secure funding;

·    It was suggested that young people in local schools, officer cadets, and disadvantaged young people could help maintain and improve the countryside.  Youngsters would gain extra knowledge from this activity plus there was a minimal cost implication to Lincolnshire County Council.




             That the report be noted.

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