Public Rights of Way signposts

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Public Rights of Way signposts

Paul Strickland
Hi everyone,

In recent months I've had a renewed interest in mapping my local area
and one area I've been focusing on is the variety of public rights of
way that I use. According to the wiki page
(https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/UK_access_provisions#Public_Rights_of_Way),
only signs that include "Public Footpath", "Public Bridleway" and
"Public Byway" can be used as definitive evidence of a public right of
way. However, the councils in two areas that I have been mapping
appear to have replaced their signposts with some that do not contain
the required wording.

For example, Suffolk County Council produces signs that simply say
"Bridleway" or "Footpath". Wiltshire County Council sometimes includes
the words "Public footpath/bridleway", but often only depicts a
walking figure or a person on a horse. Some examples are available
below.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/TCYTbBDxbTd176tt6

My question is about what is required to describe these ways as public
rights of way. In the case of Suffolk and Wiltshire, I can access the
maps of these ways and determine whether or not the signs correctly
identify a public right of way. Is that acceptable, or does it depend
on the conditions under which each council has made the data
available? To be clear, I would not be using that data as the primary
source of any particular way, but only to confirm that the signs I
have found on the ground correctly reflect the council's map.


Cheers

Paul

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