[Talk-GB] Removing all stiles from bridleways

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemed.net
Mon Dec 14 20:57:56 UTC 2020

Neil Matthews wrote:
> Looks like there's been an attempt to remove all stiles from
> bridleways

Um, no there hasn't?

The changeset you've pointed to (which is one of mine) has a single stile moved to the side of a bridleway. I've done this a handful of times in the past, too, usually where the stile is clearly misplaced at a footpath/bridleway junction node rather than off to the side on a footpath, but occasionally at an isolated bridleway location like this.

A barrier=stile on a long-established UK bridleway is 99.9% a mapping error. Bridleways are open to horses and bikes, and so stiles are forbidden - PRoW officers are pretty hot on this. You will sometimes see a stile placed to the side of a gate: in OSM this is usually mapped as a highway=footway through the stile and highway=bridleway through the gate, though of course there's no distinct public footpath PRoW in this case.

OSM is an iterative process of fixup and improvement, and shouting "mechanical edit!" every time someone makes a change that hasn't been surveyed in walking boots and then manually etched onto the hard disc platters of a server somewhere in Amsterdam is not hugely helpful. I mean, just change it back and say "put back pending survey" if you feel that strongly, it doesn't need an entire mailing list thread.

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