A new, consolidated version of the document that records the existence of public rights of way in Cambridgeshire has been published.

The document is vital for residents, developers and the Council to legally define where rights of way are in the County.

The Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way is the legal record of Public Footpaths, Bridleways, Restricted Byways and Byways Open to all Traffic.

The new map consolidates maps produced in between 1952 and 1962 for the former Counties of the Isle of Ely, Huntingdonshire and historic Cambridgeshire together with thousands of legal orders into a single document covering the whole of the modern County of Cambridgeshire. This shows all changes to public rights of way that have taken place up to 11th May 2016.

The document includes a large scale map (1:10,000) together with a written statement for every route recorded on the map. The entire public rights of way network in Cambridgeshire is in excess of 3,000km in length, covering every parish, town and city in the County.

The Definitive Map and Statement provides conclusive legal evidence of the existence of those rights shown on it. It is used as the basis for the County Council's management of the network and to check the status and locations of public rights of way as part of development proposals, land management and property searches.

Previously Officers could spend several hours researching changes that had taken place since the last Definitive Maps were published to check the current position of a route. However, these checks can now be done in less than fifteen minutes, meaning the public have quick access to accurate and up-to-date information.

Produced by Cambridgeshire County Council's Highways Asset Information Team, the document itself is an A1 bound set of maps and separate statements arranged by parish. Copies of these documents are available for the public to view at all District Council Offices and at Shire Hall in Cambridge.

In addition the working copy of the Definitive Map which also shows changes that have taken place since the publication of the Consolidated Map is available to view on the County Council's website at http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/rightsofway

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Mac MacGuire, Chairman of the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee said: "The production of the new Definitive Map and Statement represents the culmination of over ten years painstaking work on various projects to improve the integrity of the records to ensure the highest levels of accuracy have been achieved.

"This project has dramatically increased the reliability of these records so that accurate information is readily available, removing the requirement for lengthy research into the history of individual routes. The value of these important rights in enabling sustainable transport modes and increasing opportunities for healthy activities cannot be overestimated. It's a great credit to the Project Managers, and their teams, that they have achieved this with the limited resources the Council has. This new record will serve the people of Cambridgeshire well in years to come."

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