User:Rjw62/PRoW Table

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Identifying Routes and adding appropriate Designation and Access Tags

Suggested tagging for Public Rights of Way and related routes.

Type Access Rights & Notes Designation Tag Minimum Access Tags[1] Typical Signage
Public Footpath Access for pedestrians (including pushchairs and wheelchairs) but not other users. public_footpath
  • Yellow arrows
  • "Public Footpath"
FP-finger.jpg FP-finger2.jpg

FP-roundel2.jpg FP-roundel.jpg

Public Bridleway Access for pedestrians, horse-riders, and cyclists. (Cycling is legally permitted, but cyclists must give way to other users, and the route does not have to be maintained to a standard to make cycling physically possible.) public_bridleway
  • Blue arrows
  • "Public Bridleway"
  • "Bridleway"
Bridleway pointer.jpg BR-finger.jpg

BR-roundel2.jpg BR-roundel.jpg

Restricted Byway Access for pedestrians, horse-riders, cyclists, and other non-mechanically-propelled vehicles (eg a horse and cart). restricted_byway
  • Purple arrows
  • "Restricted Byway"
RB-finger.JPG RB-finger2.jpg

RB-roundel2.jpg RB-roundel.JPG

Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) Access for all traffic, including motor vehicles.

However, access for motor vehicles may be restricted by a separate Traffic Regulation Order for some or all months of the year.[4]

byway_open_to_all_traffic
  • Red arrows
  • "Byway Open to All Traffic"
  • "Public Byway"
  • "Byway"
UK Public Byway signpost.jpg BY-finger.jpg

BY-roundel.jpg BY-roundel2.jpg

Type Access Rights & Notes Designation Tag Minimum Access Tags Typical Signage
Permissive Footpath Permissive access for pedestrians (including pushchairs and wheelchairs) but not other users. permissive_footpath[5]
  • White arrows
  • "Permissive Path"
  • "Permissive Footpath"
PP-roundel.jpg PP-roundel2.jpg
Permissive Bridleway Permissive access for pedestrians, horse-riders, and probably cyclists but not other vehicles. permissive_bridleway[6][7]
  • Pale blue arrows
  • "Permissive Bridleway"
  • Horseshoe symbols
PBR-horseshoe.jpg PBR-roundel.jpg
Road Used as a Public Path (RUPP) Obsolete classification, with unclear access rights.

Local Authorities were asked to re-classify these as one of the other types of Right of Way. All remaining RUPPs automatically became Restricted Byways on 2nd May 2006. So tag as such, possibly leaving a fixme=* if you're not sure of the new designation.

restricted_byway
  • White arrows?
  • "Road Used as a Public Path"
  • "Public Path"
  • "RUPP"
PP-square.jpg RUPP-roundel.JPG
Unclassified Highway Access for all traffic, including motor vehicles.

Some rough country tracks are officially public highways, though are not surfaced and not maintained to a standard to allow normal vehicles to drive along them. Nevertheless there is still a right to use them as with any public highway. Such routes are typically marked as "Other Route with Public Access" on Ordnance Survey maps.

Like BOATs, Unclassified Highways may be subject to Traffic Regulation Orders, which ban motorised vehicles for all or some of the year.[4]

unclassified_highway[8]
  • Black arrows
  • "Route"
  • "Public Way"
  • "By Road"
  • "Unclassified County Road"
UH-by-road.jpg UH-route-roundall.jpg

UH-public-road-roundel.jpg

In addition to the values of designation=* in the table above, two other place-holder values are recommended, when full information is not available:

  • designation=public_right_of_way -- for when the route is known to be one of the first four types (Public Footpath, Public Bridleway, Restricted Byway, or Byway Open to All Traffic) but it is not known which. (This is often useful when an official sign has been observed while travelling by car, but the text cannot be made out.)
  • designation=unknown_byway -- for when the route is known to be one of the two byway types (Restricted Byway, or Byway Open to All Traffic) but it is not known which.

Adding Official Reference Numbers

County Councils and Unitary Authorities have a duty to record Public Rights of Way in an official document called the Definitive Map and Statement. To do this, each Right of Way is given a unique name/number within the authority area. Usually the Rights of Way are numbered by civil parish, with names of the form "Springfield Footpath no. 3" etc. These names/numbers can be recorded in OSM using the prow_ref=* tag. For consistency in formatting, I would recommend adopting the common format "[Parish Name] [Type Code] [Number]", where [Type Code] is either FP (public footpath), BR (public bridleway), RB (restricted byway), or BY (byway open to all traffic).

Routes not following the Definitive Line

Sometimes the route available / used on the ground will differ from the official Definitive Line recorded by the Council. In such cases, the legal Right of Way exists along the Definitive Line whether or not it is actually physically accessible. If data on the Definitive Lines is available under an appropriate licence it would be useful to add this to OSM, along with appropriate tagging to indicate its status and accessibility. Any alternative route used instead should also be mapped, but should not be tagged as a Public Right of Way. My tagging suggestions for the various cases are as follows:

Tagging for Definitive Line Tagging for Actual Route Used
Definitive Line matches route used and physically obvious on ground

e.g. a path the follows a farm track, or a path through woods where there is evidence of usage.

  • highway=* (to describe physical condition of route)
  • designation=* (to match legal status)
  • prow_ref=* (to record the route number)
  • foot=designated (to describe legal access)
    + other appropriate access tags
No route visible on ground, but definitive line accessible

e.g. a cross-field path over a pasture, where there is insufficient use to leave physical evidence of the path on the ground

  • highway=* (to match RoW type)
  • designation=* (to match legal status)
  • prow_ref=* (to record the route number)
  • foot=designated (to describe legal access)
    + other appropriate access tags
Definitive Line differs from route used on ground but is still accessible

e.g. a cross-field definitive line, where the route visible on the ground follows the field edge, or a different line has been reinstated across the field

  • highway=no (since there's no highway in use on the ground)
  • designation=* (to match legal status)
  • prow_ref=* (to record the route number)
  • foot=designated (to describe legal access rights)
    + other appropriate access tags
  • highway=* (to describe physical condition of route)
  • foot=permissive/yes (to describe the implied legal access in the absence of the definitive line being marked)
    + other appropriate access tags
Definitive Line obstructed and alternative route used on ground

e.g. path takes a detour through a nearby gate, when the definitive line goes straight through a hedge

  • highway=no (to confirm that there is no highway available on the ground)
  • designation=* (to match legal status)
  • prow_ref=* (to record the route number)
  • foot=designated (to describe legal access rights)
    + other appropriate legal access tags
  • foot:physical=no (to describe the fact that the route is not physically accessible)
    + other appropriate physical access tags
  • highway=* (to describe physical condition of route)
  • foot=yes (to describe the implied legal access necessary to avoid the obstruction)
    + other appropriate access tags

Notes

  1. Access tags should really be added for completeness, and for the benefit of data users, but the most important thing is to get the designation=* tag entered. Sometimes there will be additional access rights to those conferred by the Public Right of Way (e.g. if a footpath is also a Public Highway or a Permissive Bridleway). Occasionally, there will fewer rights (e.g. a traffic regulation order may ban certain classes or user).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 The *=no tags here aren't strictly necessary, as the default will be no access by other modes. I wouldn't usually include them, unless there is likely to be confusion.
  3. 3.0 3.1 A restrictive motor_vehicle=* tag is needed here, to over-ride the blanket vehicle=yes and ensure it only applies to non-motorised vehicles. motor_vehicle=no will often not be appropriate though, as the land-owner can have private rights. motor_vehicle=private (e.g. for a farm track on private land) or motor_vehicle=destination (e.g. for an access lane to houses) are likely to be more appropriate.
  4. 4.0 4.1 If this is the case, then it will be indicated with a "No Motor Vehicles" traffic sign (a black motor cycle and a car on a white background inside a red circle). To tag this in OSM, please add the correct designation=* tag and appropriate access tags to capture the additional restriction. It would also be helpful to add a note=* to explain the apparent contradiction between the designation and access tags.
  5. Only add the designation=permissive_footpath if the route is explicitly signed as such.
  6. Only add the designation=permissive_bridleway if the route is explicitly signed as such.
  7. If the route is also a Public Footpath, then use designation=public_footpath;permissive_bridleway.
  8. This only really needs to be used if the physical condition of the route means it is given a highway=* tag other than highway=unclassified (or any higher road value).