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Public right of way

Ref No: FOI18834 - Request for information

Request

I refer to your email of 24 May 2018 which has been dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of Information Action 2000 (FOIA). I acknowledge your enquiry to be as follows:

“I have some questions regarding your depiction of public paths and bridleways on O.S maps.

[1] If a local authority moves a public right of way [footpath or bridleway] by a Section 119 Highways Act 1980 Diversion Order:-

[a] Do you need to receive a copy,[from that local authority] of the CERTIFICATE which is required under Paragraph 3, Section 119 HA 1980, before you place the diverted route on new O.S maps? Before a path is deemed as "fit for public use", it must be certified as such by that local authority.

[b] The Law under paragraph 3 Section 119 HA 1980 states that if the new diverted path is not certified, then the ORIGINAL path that was diverted, remains legally in use, indefinitely, because it HAS NOT BEEN EXTINGUISHED in Law.

Therefore, before you remove a diverted public footpath or bridleway from existing O.S maps ,do you request a copy of the certificate from the Local Authority?

Would you EVER remove a diverted Public path or bridleway from later issues of O.S maps without receiving a copy of the requisite certificate if it has been diverted involving work on the ground, by Section 119 Highways Act 1980?”

Our response

I have reviewed your enquiry and note that it relates to the depiction of public rights of way, the subject of which has previously been dealt with extensively by Ordnance Survey’s Customer Services team and under the FOIA.

I advise that enquiries from you on the matter of the Ceredigion Coastal Path, the depiction of rights of way and related subject matter will not be reopened by our Customer Services team, since Ordnance Survey considers these issues have been fully dealt with and you have exhausted the Customer Services complaints process. To clarify, Ordnance Survey’s Customer Services team will not be responding to you on the subject matter referred to. Your enquiry has therefore been dealt with in accordance with the FOIA.

From a FOIA point of view, this does not constitute a valid request for information under section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), as it is not asking for recorded information but instead requests an explanation. However, we provide the following information in accordance with our duty under section 16 of the FOIA.

Taking each question in turn, I confirm the following:

[1] If a local authority moves a public right of way [footpath or bridleway] by a Section 119 Highways Act 1980 Diversion Order:-

[a] Do you need to receive a copy,[from that local authority] of the CERTIFICATE which is required under Paragraph 3, Section 119 HA 1980, before you place the diverted route on new O.S maps? Before a path is deemed as "fit for public use", it must be certified as such by that local authority.

Ordnance Survey will receive from the relevant Local Authority a copy of the Order either by email or post. Before we update our records, we check that all the requirements of a valid Order are in place, i.e. we check that the Order is confirmed, certified (if necessary), has an operative date, a map and a signed and sealed date stamp.

If certification is a requirement of the Order, in the event that Ordnance Survey has not seen a copy of the Certificate, we will contact the Local Authority and request confirmation that certification has been completed; in these cases, we will not process the Order until we have received such confirmation. To be clear, it is not a requirement for Ordnance Survey to receive a copy of the Certificate.

[b] The Law under paragraph 3 Section 119 HA 1980 states that if the new diverted path is not certified, then the ORIGINAL path that was diverted ,remains legally in use, indefinitely, because it HAS NOT BEEN EXTINGUISHED in Law.

Therefore, before you remove a diverted public footpath or bridleway from existing O.S maps ,do you request a copy of the certificate from the Local Authority?

Please see the response to question 1 (a) above.

Would you EVER remove a diverted Public path or bridleway from later issues of O.S maps without receiving a copy of the requisite certificate if it has been diverted involving work on the ground, by Section 119 Highways Act 1980?

Please see the response to question 1 (a) above.

We wrote to you on 8 May 2013 in relation to FOI13372, in which we notified you that we considered the request (FOI13372) to be vexatious under Section 14(1) of the FOIA. If you did choose to submit a new Freedom of Information request reopening the same subject matter it is likely that it would again be considered to be vexatious.

Internal review

Your enquiry has been processed according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. If you are unhappy with our response, you may request an internal review with our Internal Review Officer by contacting them, within two months of receipt of our final response to your FOI request, as follows:

Internal Review Officer
Customer Service Centre
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
Southampton
SO16 0AS

Email: foi@os.uk

Please include the reference number above. You may request an internal review where you believe Ordnance Survey has:

  • Failed to respond to your request within the time limits (normally 20 working days)
  • Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information
  • Failed to provide the information you have requested
  • Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request
  • Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception

The Internal Review Officer will not have been involved in the original decision. They will conduct an independent internal review and will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20 working days, but exceptionally within 40 working days, in line with the Information Commissioner’s guidance.

The Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision, provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.

Appeal to Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
If, following the outcome of the internal review you remain unhappy with our response, you may raise an appeal, within three months of receiving our response, with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Further information can be found on the ICO website (ico.org.uk) under ‘Report a concern’ or you may wish to call the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113.

Thank you for your enquiry.

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