Talk:Public rights of way in England and Wales

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Clean Up

This page seems to have become awfully complicated and as such in my opinion does not fulfil its role of unambiguously telling people what they should be tagging with. Therefore I propose the following table I have constructed best I can from the consensus generally in the article. It is of course up for discussion and I'll leave it here for a while but if there are no disputes I'll promote it to the main article. I also think this page should be made more prominent with maybe a link at the top of Tag:highway=path.

Name Description New Tags "Classic" Tags Access
Path These are just paths across land but you do not necessarily have any rights to use it whatsoever. You should ask the landowner but most don't mind of course. These are also usually the paths you find in urban areas. highway=path
foot=permissive
highway=footway
Footpath Right of way for walkers only. Pushchairs and wheelchairs are allowed but the ground generally may not be suitable. Mostly marked with Yellow arrows. highway=path
foot=designated
designation=public_footpath
highway=footway
foot=yes
AccessFootpath.png
Bridleway Access for walkers, cyclists and horseriders. Cyclists must give way to walkers and horseriders. Generally marked with Blue arrows. highway=path
foot=designated
horse=designated
bicycle=designated
designation=public_bridleway
highway=bridleway
foot=yes
horse=yes
bicycle=yes
AccessBridleway.png
Byway Open to all traffic. Because they are usually not maintained to as high a standard as public roads they are usually intended for cyclists and horseriders. Usually marked with Red arrows. highway=?
foot=designated
horse=designated
bicycle=designated
motorcar=designated
designation=public_byway
highway=byway
foot=yes
horse=yes
bicycle=yes
motorcar=yes
AccessByway.png
Restricted Byway Open to walkers, cyclists, horseriders and horse drawn vehicles. Usually marked with Purple arrows. highway=?
foot=designated
horse=designated
bicycle=designated
motorcar=no
designation=restricted_byway
highway=byway
foot=yes
horse=yes
bicycle=yes
motorcar=no
AccessRestrictedByway.png

The images used are not mine. They belong to Kent County Council and should probably be remade if used.

Exceptions

Applies To Description Tags
Footpath If in built up area and the path is paved rather than dirt. surface=paved
Bridleway If it is a track
If it is a service road
highway=track
highway=service

IJMacD 18:24, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

I like the table, but I'd suggest using *=yes as opposed to *=designated to indicate that there is a legal right of way. The *=designated can be deduced from the designation=* tag, and it's more important to know what's legally allowed in the access tags. (You could well have a private cycleway, and that would still be in some sense designated for bicycles, so lets not try to combine the access and designation tags.) -- Rjw62 09:31, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't really trying to suggest anything new. My main intention was to just tidy up the contents of this page. I do however agree it isn't terribly clear but *=designated seemed to be the consensus on this page as well as on tagwatch. IJMacD 22:28, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't think bridleways should generally be highway=path, since they should be wider than that. I'd usually go for bridleway or track instead. You'll probably find people wanting to use highway=footway for at least well-marked paths. There's already a highway=byway available for byways. But if you want to get away from using those, then highway=track would probably be most appropriate. -- Rjw62 09:31, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
My reasoning for choosing between highway=path and highway=track is that a track is wide enough for a vehicle to go down whether legally allowed down or not. I think most bridleways aren't wide enough, just slightly larger than footpaths usually. The whole point of the 'new' tag scheme was to separate the physical state of the highway from the legal designation. IJMacD 22:28, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I'd also suggest using designation=byway_open_to_all_traffic for BOATs which is more specific unambiguous. It also allows designation=byway to be used as a stop-gap when the form of byway isn't known. -- Rjw62 09:31, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

What about access=designated?

This page makes no mention of the "designated" access type: however, access=designated is fairly new (IIRC) and it may not yet have made it on board this page.

A specific related question: should a green-background footpath signpost or a blue-background round cycleway signpost signify foot=designated and bicycle=designated if, as may be the case, the way in question is a private service road (with some public rights of way within it) or a bridleway (with some extra signage and a nice surface)? If the answer is "no", what makes a RoW in England and Wales a designated way? --achadwick 00:45, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Restricted Byway and motorcar=no?

I've just mapped Great Barton near Bury St Edmunds by car this evening, and one of the roads I followed, which has houses (with drives containing cars) all the way down both sides, though is very narrow, is signposted at the end I came out as "Restricted Byway", and unsuitable for motor vehicles (rather than no motor vehicles). At the way I went in it was signposted as also being the route of a public footpath - I don't know where that went off to. There are some new build homes on Garden Close off "The Park" which is the way in question. Perhaps residents are meant to enter from the end I did and go back out the same way, or perhaps it should be tagged motorvehicles=destination? --EdLoach 2 April 2009

Rights of way across fields

I am very unclear how rights of way which do not follow physical paths should be tagged. This is not uncommon across fields, and I have just taken some GPS traces where the right of way crosses the fairway of a golf course. --Davespod 08:13, 27 August 2009 (UTC)