Rights of Way

Priority Guidelines for Assessing Maintenance and Enforcement Problem Reports on the Rights of Way Network

All maintenance and enforcement problems reported to the County Council or identified through internal inspections will be allotted a priority. Priorities will be assigned with regard to their effect upon the whole of the public.

The factors to be considered in every case in deciding the priority are:

  • Level of danger to the public
  • Level of use, or likely use, of the path and the type of path (eg Strategically important, route to school, etc)
  • Inclusion as part of a recognised and promoted recreational route
  • Volume of complaints received from different sources
  • Degree of obstruction, encroachment or inconvenience
  • Likely duration of problem
  • Cause of problem – whether it is within Hampshire County Council powers to rectify?

This list is in no order of importance nor weighting to be given to each factor.

Priorities to be assigned with consideration of the effect upon the whole public.

  • Accident/Incident where serious injury has occurred
  • Any matter that poses an immediate danger to the public
  • Failed or missing Hampshire County Council structure
  • Matter requiring immediate engineering attention
  • Potentially dangerous bridge structure problems
  • A problem on a strategically important path which would otherwise be a Priority 2
 
  • Permanent encroachment/obstruction with no alternative route
  • Live planning non-compliance
  • Surface damage/disturbance preventing use by public (including damage by agricultural vehicles)
  • Serious fault with Hampshire County Council structure
  • Surfacing/vegetation problems on an Hampshire County Council promoted route
  • Crops and ploughing on strategically important path
  • Surface/side vegetation making access impossible (not already included in the Priority Cutting List programme)
  • A problem on a strategically important path which would otherwise be a Priority 3
 
  • Serious stile fault
  • Electric fencing without crossing aid
  • Repeated harassment and intimidating behaviour or notices
  • Temporary, significant obstruction/encroachment with no alternative route
  • Permanent significant encroachment/obstruction with alternative route
  • Crops and ploughing on non-strategically important path
  • Surface/side vegetation severely limiting path use  (not already included in the Priority Cutting List programme)
  • Surface conditions making access inconvenient (where previously maintained)
  • New requests for handrails/steps/boardwalks/etc
  • A problem on a strategically important path which would otherwise be a Priority 4
  • Wilful removal of signpost in order to mislead the public

The following are matters which do not form part of the current programme of work. These problems will only be attended to if efficient to do so whilst dealing with a higher priority matter in the same area.

 
  • Misleading Notices (other than those in Priority 3 above)
  • Non-Hampshire County Council structure making access inconvenient (eg high or ageing stile)
  • Technical obstruction/encroachment with no alternative route
  • Temporary, significant obstruction/encroachment with alternative route
  • Surface vegetation/conditions spoiling enjoyment of path (not on Priority Cutting List)
  • Path improvement requests not covered by higher priorities
  • A problem on a strategically important path which would otherwise be a Priority 5
 
  • Issues on cul-de-sac path without terminal point of interest
  • De minimus obstruction/encroachment with alternative route
 

Pro-active, cyclical work outside of Priority Guidelines

  • Path waymarking and fingerposting (winter)
  • Priority Cutting List vegetation clearance (spring/summer/autumn)
  • Upkeep of Long Distance Paths (and where possible Off Road Cycle Routes)
  • Major works funded by capital bids (executed during summer/autumn)
  • Heavy vegetation clearance (winter)