Bridgend County Borough Council,Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend, CF31 4WB

Tel: 01656 643643
Text Relay:
18001 01656 643643
Fax: 01656 668126
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Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm

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Public Rights of Way

What is a Public Right of Way?

A Public Right of Way is a route over which the public have a legal right under Highway Law to pass and re-pass.

Once such a right has come into existence it continues indefinitely and can only be brought to an end or amended by the use of statutory legal procedures (see public path orders).  Lack of use over a period of time does not mean that the rights have disappeared. When using Public Rights of Way, it is important to follow the Countryside Code.

Public Rights of Way can be divided into four categories, namely:

  • Public Footpath - rights exist for people on foot only;
  • Public Bridleway - rights exist for people on foot, horseback and pedal cycle;
  • Byway Open to All Traffic - rights exist for people on foot, horseback, pedal cycle and motor vehicles...but don't expect a metalled surface! Bridgend County Borough Council only has a duty to maintain it to a standard suitable for use on foot and horseback only, not for vehicular use
  • Restricted Byway – rights exist for people on foot, horseback, pedal cycles and drivers of horse drawn carriages

The different types of right of way can be recognised by their signposts and waymarks. Rights of Way can be found in towns, villages and in the countryside.  Some paths may be surfaced although most are routes across countryside owned by private landowners. Because of this users need to be aware that they should use appropriate footwear depending on the time of year, prevailing weather conditions and type of landscape they are expecting to access.  Public footpaths are not to be confused with highway footways for example, pavements to the side of the road, which are the responsibility of the Highway Maintenance Section.


Last Updated: 24/04/2013
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