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Rights of Way Improvement Plans and Funding

Paths and routes are being improved across the whole of Wales as local authorities implement their Rights of Way Improvement Plans, with funding and help from the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales

What are Rights of Way Improvement Plans?

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act places 2000 placed a duty on each Highway Authority in England and Wales to publish a Rights of Way Improvement Plan (RoWIP).

10-year prioritised plans

These are 10-year prioritised plans for the improvement of the local rights of way network and are intended to benefit all users – walkers, cyclists, horse riders and off-road users, as well as people with sight and mobility problems. The plans set out the principle means by which local highway authorities are to identify, prioritise and plan for improvements to their local rights of way network.

Strategic context and assessments

RoWIPs should have distinct sections setting out the strategic context and assessment of an authority’s local rights of way. These sections will lead into a Statement of Action for the management and improvement of local rights of way.

Local authorities’ RoWIPs

All local authorities in Wales together with Brecon Beacons National Park Authority have a Rights of Way Improvement Plan for their area. There are 23 plans in total. Natural Resources Wales has worked to support local authorities with their improvement plans and will be a statutory consultee for future plans. Local highway authorities are required to review their RoWIPs within 10 years of the date of publication of their previous plan.

RoWIP Review

Beginning in May 2015, NRW undertook work to develop advice on the statutory Review of RoWIPs in Wales. The process to develop the advice included consultation with a range of interested stakeholders and was overseen by a working group that comprised NRW, local authority/national park and Welsh Government staff. The advice, submitted to Welsh Government took the form of Draft Guidance.

Guidance for Local Authorities on RoWIPs

The Welsh Government have now published their 'Guidance for Local Authorities on Rights of Way Improvement Plans July 2016 which is available on their website.

RoWIP Funding Programme

The Welsh Government has provided a major boost to the implementation of these Plans by means of the RoWIP Funding Programme, which is administered and managed by Natural Resources Wales. The Welsh Government allocated £10.9million in capital monies between 2008 and 2016. With a further £1million made available in 2016-2017.

Overseeing the RoWIP Funding Programme

The RoWIP Funding Programme is overseen by a project board which consists of representatives of Natural Resources Wales, the Welsh Government and local authorities. Authorities are required to comply with a number of conditions, including reporting on work achieved each year. These reports are compiled by Natural Resources Wales, are approved by the project board and published below.

RoWIP Related research

In 2013/14, Natural Resources Wales was tasked with commissioning a review of RoWIPs. This formed the basis of Natural Resources Wales's advice to the Welsh Government. These research reports are also available below.

Related Documents

Archive Documents

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