The Public Rights of Way (PROW) network, which consists of 164km of public rights of way and is 18% of the total highway network within Wokingham Borough, is used by thousands of people to get to work and school, as well as to enjoy the countryside. The Council has just updated its Rights of Way Improvement Plan and wants your feedback.
The updated plan creates more off-road links between towns, creates more circular routes, increases accessibility, improves surfaces and drainage, protects river banks and helps encourage wildlife. This consultation provides an opportunity to re-assess how the network is managed and set priorities for the next ten years.
Public rights of way are public footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways and byways. They are a crucial part of a wider network which includes public parks, nature parks, permitted routes, cycle routes and the wider highway network. The council’s network consists of some 164km of paths, with Wargrave and Finchampstead having the majority.
Great progress was made with the previous 10 year plan with new rights of way in the council’s major development areas; resurfacing pathways that link to schools, local amenities and public transport; replacing stiles in conjunction with the Loddon Valley Ramblers; preventing the illegal use of paths and more. However, the current plan expires next year.
“There have been many successes over the past 10 years. Looking forward to the next 10 years, we need to build on the work that has been done and take it to the next level,” said Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure.
“Encouraging use of the network has always been a part of our plan, but now more than ever we hope to encourage the use of sustainable transport. We are going to create more walking and cycling routes between towns and villages so a greener way of travelling is possible and more appealing.
“We have a proposed plan of 76 actions but it’s so important that through this process we get residents’ feedback to ensure we are improving the things that really matter to our people.”
To give your feedback on the proposed plan, visit our website at www.wokingham.gov.uk and search ‘consultations’. The consultation is open until 26 September.