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This Freedom of Information request concerns the existence of an ORPA (Other Routes with Public Access).

FOI16654– Request for information


Thank you for your email of 9 March 16, requesting the following information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000:

I am afraid I must inform you that Durham County Council are refusing to accept the existence of the ORPA you refer to below. It may help me to press my case with the Highways Department, and our local MP, if you could send me email copies of any correspondence you may have from Durham County Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act to support your claim of the instruction you received in January 1998.
As I believe I have informed you, the missing section of the ORPA lies on land that we own as part of the XXXXXXXXXXX Guest House Freehold and so does not present a problem.
Your help will be greatly appreciated as I believe that, without it, the public will loose this vital access to and from the XXXXXXXXXX and our business offering B&B to Coast to Coast Cyclists will be adversely effected.

Our response

Unfortunately, I have to confirm that Ordnance Survey is unable to help you with your enquiry as we do not hold this information. 

However, under our duty to provide advice and assistance as stipulated in Section 16 of the FOIA, I can outline the procedure followed to collect ORPAs (Other Routes with Public Access).  A field surveyor visited the Highways Department of the appropriate Local Authority to obtain information of any public highways which could supplement the existing Rights of Way network at that time.  From the information obtained, the surveyor marked routes on a paper copy of the relevant Landranger map.  The paper map was then sent to OSHQ for the information to be transferred to our systems.  No other documentation was used and the original maps annotated by the surveyor have been disposed of following the transfer to electronic data.  We have a record of the fact that this information was collected from Durham County Council in our system with an electronic date marker of 10th January 1998.  This only represents the depiction of the original source information.  We estimate from this date that the Surveyor’s visit to the Highways Department of Durham County Council would have taken place in the second half of 1997 but we are unable to be more specific.

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 FOI Internal Review Officer, by contacting them as follows:

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


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 FOI 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 FOI 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 with the Information Commissioner’s Office at:

The Case Reception Unit
Customer Service Team
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane


Telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 for advice, Monday to Friday.

Thank you for your enquiry.