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Cardiff Council

What are public rights of way

​​Cardiff has 200 km of Public Rights of Way and Bridleways. We are responsible for making sure that the rights of way network is properly mapped, and that paths are maintained for the safe use and enjoyment of the public. 

A public right of way and highway both mean a way over which the public have a right to pass and repass. Please note some of the paths may have private access rights (i.e. vehicle or equestrian access). 

In Cardiff, we have the following categories of paths which are registered on the Definitive Map:

  • Footpaths: A right of way for walkers.
  • Bridleways: A right of way for; walkers, horse riders (including the right to lead horses) and cyclists - who must give way to other users.
    It should be noted that not all paths depicted on an O.S. Map are Public Rights of Way but merely indicate a surveyed feature. 

​Other types of paths which are not on the Definitive Map:

  • Adopted Highway: This is a term for a public maintained highway which has a higher maintenance and surface liability than a standard Public Right of Way.
  • Permissive Paths: These are paths which a landowner has granted a specific agreement for the public to use.
  • Green Lanes: This term has no legal meaning, but is used as a physical description of lanes that are vegetated underfoot or enclosed by hedges hence the 'green'.

View general guidance for Public Rights of Way.

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