NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum

How should I tag a public footpath (UK public right of way), which has a section that is impassible?

In this case, virtually all trace of the original path has gone, and you would only guess at its continued existence from the stile. To actually pass you have to fight your way through a very thick barrier of trees and gorse bushes. I suppose I am really saying the path has gone, but the right of way still exists if you're crazy enough to try (I was - ouch!).

asked 20 Sep '12, 23:20

davespod's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 20 Sep '12, 23:20

One possibility is just to stick a note where it's blocked (like this for example). It's not ideal (I'm certainly open to better suggestions) but it's a start. Note that that example isn't a public footpath that's blocked but an alternative route to one across access land.

If it was a public footpath, and it was clear where the inaccessible footpath went, I'd probably tag the impassible way with designation=public_footpath, no highway tag, and a suitable note.

I've also tended to do that where there's a clearly signed footpath but "everybody" uses an alternative because it's more convenient for both landowners and walkers.

permanent link

answered 21 Sep '12, 00:15

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%


You might also want to report it to the local authority who may already be aware of the issue and be able to tell you what is happening, or alternatively might add it to the list of places that need maintenance. Essex PROW team have been really helpful in those respects (some steps heading down to a national limit dual carriageway were impassable due to brambles, and were soon cleared as it was rather a safety issue).

(21 Sep '12, 10:09) EdLoach ♦

Yes please map it as it will remind people of it legal existence. Vegetation is a big problem this year due to long wet spell which increased growth and reduced footfall which otherwise would have helped to keep them open. Local budget savings on path clearances have added to this so please map it and report as Ed says. Many walkers carry sticks and secateurs to beat and cut their way through.

(21 Sep '12, 10:42) andy mackey

Recently I explored a right of way that as been in dispute for years and can't be used as there are buildings and security fences in the way.I suspect that it is left on the "Definitive Map" as it may get legally resolved some time. It heads NE to SW through this point

(21 Sep '12, 10:54) andy mackey

Yes, I have reported it to the County Council, so hopefully something might come of it. In fact, I asked whether the PROW had been extinguished, and if not whether there were plans to resolve it. The reason I asked the former is that I also encountered the landowner who told me the path had been "disused for many years". However, I am convinced it is still a PROW, as it is shown as such on the parish council website's map, and I can find no record of any applications to change this particular stretch of the footpath in any way.

(21 Sep '12, 13:14) davespod

My main concern is that people might try to follow the path on a map or routing derived from OSM, when it really is impassible in its current state. I think I will add a note, as Ed has suggested, but perhaps also show a hedge across the path, with no gaps, gates or stiles.

(21 Sep '12, 13:17) davespod

I know this is a bit off-topic, but I have received my reply from Essex County Council. They have stated that the right of way ends at the stile just before the thick barrier of foliage, as the land after the stile counts as the verge of the A12. It even looks like there has been an order at some point to remove the short section beyond the stile! The verge of the A12 is open to the public, but the responsibility of the Highways Agency. So, I will probably tag the footpath as ending at the stile, as this appears to represent the crazy situation that exists legally as well as physically!

(21 Sep '12, 15:33) davespod
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

I put an area

description: Tall impassible grass.
landuse: grass

on top of the trail section affected.

permanent link

answered 13 Mar '18, 08:53

jidanni's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 13 Mar '18, 08:53

Exactly the same story here, look at Bing. It's on a map and I just OSMapped it.
What you describe was at least its state 20+ years ago, though. I'll have to go and check.
I think I remember that boy scouts made it a revival project.
They love that and they get some wood for their spring bonfire.
Joker's thought: why not a 0.01 km/h speed limit?

permanent link

answered 21 Sep '12, 23:51

GentilPapou's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 20 Sep '12, 23:20

question was seen: 5,664 times

last updated: 13 Mar '18, 08:53

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum