Rights of Way Improvement Plans (England & Wales)

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Potentially, Rights of Way Improvement Plans can help boost cycling in the countryside
Headline Messages: 
  • Cycle-friendly Rights of Way Improvement Plans (RoWIPs) can help boost the quantity and quality of routes and open spaces available for cycling in the countryside. They can also help promote them to the public so that more people can enjoy the rights of way network by cycle.
Key facts: 
  • RoWIPs were introduced by s60 of the Countryside & Rights of Way Act (England and Wales) (CROW) 2000 as a means of obliging local authorities to plan to improve access to the countryside.
  • Local Access Forums (LAFs), parish councils and others are involved with the development of ROWIPs.
  • Local authorities had to complete their RoWIPs by November 2007. Fewer than 50% of them met this deadline, although by 2009 virtually all had been published.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • There is currently a considerable, suppressed demand for traffic-free off-road cycling routes, especially close to where people live. Provision for family cycling is particularly poor. RoWIPs offer opportunities to improve off-road cycling provision. To maximise the benefits of cycling, the delivery of RoWIPs should:
    • Be informed by a survey of the off-road cycling network to identify gaps and implement improvements 
    • Promote, sign and maintain routes for cyclists 
  • As resources are likely to be limited, RoWIPs benefit from the input of volunteers working through the Local Access Forum (LAF) and in conjunction with local authority staff.
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
February 2015
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