Unlawful closures of rights on way on the rise

04/06/2020
Dominic Browne

A second rights of way survey by ADEPT has found almost 90% of local authorities have dealt with reports of unlawful closures of rights of way by landowners throughout the lockdown period.

The survey was completed before the easing of the lockdown by almost 50 local authorities, including four national park authorities, and was designed with the Institute of Public Rights of Way and Access Management (IPROW).

It follows an earlier survey by council directors body ADEPT, which had found mounting tensions between walkers and landowners over the issue of access.

In this second survey, 44% of responding councils report a continued increase in tensions, while 44% say levels remain constant but higher than normal.

Landowners are not allowed to close or block public footpaths by law, but councils have been reluctant to use enforcement powers at such a difficult time.

'Local authorities are working with landowners to provide guidance, advice and support on how to manage rights of way safely by fixing notices and tying back gates, where possible, to maintain social distancing,' ADEPT said.

Nigel Riglar, president of ADEPT, said: 'It is clear that before lockdown measures on outdoor exercise were relaxed, there was an increase in use of public rights of way and that this has led to some tensions in tourist areas that are asking visitors to stay away.

'Local authorities are continuing to provide essential maintenance services and are working with landowners to resolve issues. We recognise that there are challenges, but also that the rights of way network is essential in keeping people active and healthy so we are asking the public to be understanding of local communities’ concerns as they enjoy their walks.'

More than 90% of respondents reported increased usage of rights of way and the proportion reporting a significant increase - of 20% or more - rose from 32% to 38% for the second survey.

Chris Miller, IPROW president, said: 'Whilst the easing of restrictions has brought greater freedom of movement for the public to exercise, we must remain mindful of the pressure that this will put on local communities and the challenges that increased usage of local rights of way networks brings, especially whilst seeking to maintain social distancing protocols.'

More than 90% of respondents reported some reduction or disruption to local rights of way services.

In part, this reduction was because of the redeployment of staff, but most local authorities have been able to continue essential repairs and maintenance.

Highways jobs

Utility Liaison Officer

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£31,434 - £34,986 per annum
You will also be responsible for agreeing all relevant inspection and permit fee charges with utility companies including... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Assistant Director Planning & Transportation

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council
£81,495 per annum 
Looking for a highly accomplished, ambitious and determined Chartered Town Planner to join the Growth Directorate’s leadership team.  Tameside, Greater Manchester
Recruiter: Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Transport Network Monitoring Officer

City of York Council
£10.30 per hour
Do you have previous knowledge/experience of Computer Network Transport Systems? York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Conservation Design Ecology and Trees Team Leader

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£42,683 - £44,632
As Conservation Design Ecology and Trees Team Leader, your responsibilities will include... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Senior Highways Maintenance Technician    

Worcestershire County Council
£25,540 up to £27,229 (plus payment for occasional out of hours working) 
Using your knowledge and experience in highways maintenance you will support and advise your colleagues and contractors. Worcestershire
Recruiter: Worcestershire County Council

Driver/Attendant

Redbridge London Borough Council
£21,591 per annum pro-rated for 20 hours and term time.
Experience in transporting students or Special Clients such as elderly or persons with disabilities is preferred. Ilford, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) Programme Lead

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£48,172 - £49,047
This is an excellent opportunity for an individual with highly developed interpersonal, organisational and negotiation skills along with... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Technical Assistant – Network Information and Compliance

North Yorkshire County Council
£18,426 to £22,021
Do you have experience of using, researching, interpreting and communicating about both legal and technical documents?  North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Scottish Road Works Commissioner

Transport Scotland
£74,038 - £76,574
We are looking to appoint a new Scottish Road Works Commissioner for a maximum term of 5 years. Scotland
Recruiter: Transport Scotland

Senior Conservation Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,643 - £45,704 depending on skills
Do you want to work in one of London’s most exciting historic environments, leading on listed buildings and conservation areas? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Project Engineer - Thirsk

North Yorkshire County Council
£24,313 to £34,788 
If you have experience in highway design and dealing with the public, we would love to hear from you.    Thirsk, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Senior Highways Operative

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£22,462 to £29,636
We are looking for Senior Highways Operatives. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Climate Change Programme Manager

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band H, up to £42,683
North West Leicestershire is a great place to live, work and visit and we are clear about our ambition for the council to be carbon neutral by 2030. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recruiter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Director of Place

London Borough of Bexley
Starting salary £147k
This is a key leadership role within the organisation, with a varied portfolio that includes
Recruiter: London Borough of Bexley

Economic Resilience Project Development Manager (Town Centres)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£42,683 - £44,632
We are looking for talented person to join our ambitious and highly collaborative team. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways Operative

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£18,426 to £21,166
We are looking for Highways Operatives who have experience in a range of the following... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Waste Collection Operative - Loaders / HGV Drivers (Hays Recruitment)

Chelmsford City Council
Please see our Partner Organisation's advert for details
Looking for the right candidates who can help them to provide a waste collection service to their residents across Chelmsford. Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Senior Street Lighting Engineer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£35,246 - £45,704 depending on skills, knowledge and experience
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Estate Maintenance Operative

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
Starting Salary is £21,210 depending on skills, knowledge and experience
You will be in daily contact with members of the public and will be expected to assist bereaved family members in a sympathetic manner. London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Inspection and Enforcement Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£29,738 - £39,555 depending on skills, knowledge and experience
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

COVID-19 recovery: legal advice and ‘golden rules’

Parking in the future city centre

Highways England and the new DMRB

A quest for the value of priceless View the latest issue

Latest Video