Improving Surrey’s rights of way


Surrey County Council is seeking the views of residents on the county’s Rights of Way to help drive improvements.

The county council is responsible for around 2,164 miles (3,482 km) of paths known as ‘public rights of way’ in both the countryside and urban areas. Accessing these paths is important for residents to enjoy and explore, travel to work or school and for health and wellbeing.

A public right of way is a path that anyone, by law, has the right to use. There are four types:

  • Footpaths for walking, mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs
  • Bridleways for walking, horse riding, cycling, mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs
  • Restricted byways for walking, horse riding, cycling, mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs and horse-drawn carriages
  • Byways for all modes including motorised vehicles.

Marisa Heath, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Environment said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for residents to share their views and really shape how we manage and improve our rights of way both in rural and urban areas. Exploring the countryside and being close to nature is so important for our health and wellbeing and also to understand the benefits of the natural environment we are doing our upmost to protect, so we want to support everyone by improving our networks.”

Residents are invited to feedback their views on Surrey’s Rights of Way network, sharing how they use them, their importance, what if anything may prevent residents from using them and how the council can support their needs. All views will help inform the new Rights of Way Improvement Plan which will be produced at the end of 2024.

The survey is open until 10 March 2024 and can be accessed on the Surrey Says website.

Image: newlandscorner jon hawkins surrey-hills-photography

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