[Talk-GB] Paths on Wimbledon Common

Nick Whitelegg nick.whitelegg at solent.ac.uk
Sat Jul 11 09:15:21 UTC 2020

.. to follow that up, a good example where I have used foot=permissive en-masse is the New Forest. It's an unusual case in that there are no rights of way (except, to guarantee access I suspect, crossings over railways) but all paths are implicitly open to the public. However there is no explicit 'This is a permissive path' notice.

Certain paths are closed from time to time, usually due to forestry operations.


From: Nick Whitelegg <nick.whitelegg at solent.ac.uk>
Sent: 11 July 2020 10:11
To: Talk GB <talk-gb at openstreetmap.org>
Subject: Re: [Talk-GB] Paths on Wimbledon Common

I would probably add to the definition of permissive, paths in the countryside, or on common-land or similar edge-of-town areas with public access, which are not rights of way but which nonetheless are in common use and do not have any 'Private' or 'Keep out' signs; it seems apparent in this case that the landowner, or other authority, implicitly does not mind public use.

I think it's important to tag such paths as permissive. Plain 'highway=footway' to me at least, indicates 'This is a path. It might have public or permissive use. It might be private. At the moment we don't know'.

I tend to use:
designation for rights of way;
foot=permissive for explicit or implicit (as above) permissive paths;
foot=yes for urban paths;
access=private for those with an explicit 'Private/Keep Out' sign.


From: Adam Snape <adam.c.snape at gmail.com>
Sent: 11 July 2020 06:20
To: Talk GB <talk-gb at openstreetmap.org>
Subject: Re: [Talk-GB] Paths on Wimbledon Common

It seems a bit odd for Osmose to be flagging highway=footway, foot=yes as an error just because foot access is implied by default. Whilst there might be the tiniest bit of redundancy I can't see any particular reason to remove it and, indeed, there might be an argument that an explicit tag is always preferable to an implied value.

OT, but I've personally always viewed foot=permissive as a caveat for the end user that a way might be closed. I only add it where a route is explicitly stated to be permissive on the ground, is actually known or likely to be shut from time to time, or is clearly an informal path. Many paths through parks and housing estates etc. are clearly intended for permanent public use and about as likely to be closed as the nearby highways.

Kind regards,

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