[Talk-GB] Invisible/impassable rights-of-way

John Aldridge jpsa at jjdash.demon.co.uk
Fri Jan 25 20:24:44 GMT 2013

On 25/01/2013 18:52, Andy Street wrote:
> On Fri, 2013-01-25 at 13:58 +0000, Dave F. wrote:
>> Blockages of ways are often just temporary.
>> I disagree with Andy Street's comment:
>> "If you can't traverse a right of way then it shouldn't have a highway
>> tag."
> Okay perhaps I could have been clearer but I wasn't suggesting omitting
> the highway tag on paths that have the occasional fallen tree or
> something that is likely to be rectified quickly, what I had in mind was
> when someone builds a house over a public right of way or where you'd
> need power-tools because the path is completely non-existent. It's the
> same principal as roadworks where we don't change how we tag unless they
> are going to close the road for a significant length of time.

In one case, the location of the path is clear, because it runs between 
two walls and the green "Public Footpath" signs are present, but a 
section of it has become completely and densely overgrown with brambles. 
It also has a large pile of earth obstructing it, which makes me wonder 
whether the obstruction is deliberate. It's been like this for at least 
a couple of years.

> If there is a problem with the path notify the local authority
> regardless of how you tag it in OSM.

I've done that already, though I would sympathise with the council if 
they chose to do nothing about it, because the section is only a couple 
of hundred yards long, and there is an equally convenient alternative 
walking route.

In the other case, the right of way runs diagonally across a field, but 
on the first few times I first visited it (over a period of a couple of 
years, so it wasn't just a temporary issue) the field was full of crops, 
and there was no sign of the path on the ground. There is an alternative 
path running round two sides of the field, but it is not a right of way.

This case is now of only theoretical interest, though, because the last 
time I went there the farmer had reinstated the diagonal path, and I was 
able to map it "properly".


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