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Cabinet Decision: 4th December 2008
Title of Item/Report
Rights of Way Improvement Plan
Record of the Decision
Members considered a report relating to the Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) which was a requirement of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. The Plan was intended to be the prime means by which the Council would identify changes to be made in respect of the management and improvement of the local rights of way network over the next 10 years.

It was explained that legislation sets out the following requirements regarding the ROWIP:

• The extent to which local rights of way meet the present and likely future needs of the public;

• The opportunities provided by local rights of way (and in particular by footpath cycle tracks, bridleway and restricted byways) for exercise and other forms of outdoor recreation and enjoyment of their area; and

• The accessibility of local rights of way to blind or partially sighted persons and others with mobility problems.

It was noted that given the requirements a ROWIP had been prepared, which was provided to members, based on the need to create a ‘joined up’ network of paths across the Borough; in good condition; accessible to all users for leisure and other everyday needs; which assisted in increasing the levels of exercise that people took; and on which people felt safe.

The Plan was one of the ‘Daughter Strategies’ supporting the Second Stockton-on-Tees Local Transport Plan (LTP). The Department for Transport (DfT) had stated that the ROWIP must show clear links to the priorities set out in the LTP, as well as helping to deliver the objectives set out under the five key themes of the Central/Local Government Shared Priority for Transport. From 2010 onwards, it was a statutory requirement that the ROWIP was fully integrated with the LTP.

The Plan had two key sections. The first contained an assessment of the state of the existing public rights of way network and the present and likely future needs of the public. The second contains an Action Plan setting out a programme to improve the network over the next 10 years.

Cabinet was provided with a copy of the Action Plan, which identified seventeen potential improvements to the existing path network in order to provide greater opportunities for use of the network by residents of, and visitors to, the Borough.

Members were provided with details of the extensive consultation that had been undertaken in the preparation of ROWIP and were provided with responses to a draft plan published in June


1. the Stockton Rights of Way Improvement Plan be approved.

2. the implementation of the Rights of Way Action Plan be approved, to be funded from existing resources available through the Local Transport Plan and Public Rights of Way Budget supplemented by any landowner or grant contributions that may become available.
Reasons for the Decision
To allow the Council to comply with sections 60 and 61 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Cook declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of this item as he was the Chairman of the Local Access Forum.
Details of any Dispensations
Not Applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not later than Midnight on Friday, 12th December 2008

Date of Publication: 08 December 2008

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