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Cycle route on Explorer Map

This Freedom of Information request asks for details about the designation of a traffic free cycle route on Explorer Map.

Request for information - Ref No: FOI19883


Thank you for your email of  2 February 2019, requesting information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, as set out in the extract below:

I have recently become aware that the OS Explorer OL11 map 1:25000 scale for Brighton and Hove publication date 2015 shows a track located north-west of Landport Bottom (approximate grid coords (3892 1147) to (3915 1132) as a traffic free cycle route.

Can you please supply me with all correspondence and minutes relating to the decision to assign this track this designation and to publish it on the said map. This should include a comprehensive list of consultees and all comments and information which these consultees made.

Our response

I confirm that Ordnance Survey does not hold the information you have requested.

However, under the duty to provide information and assistance in accordance with section 16 of FOIA, we can provide the following information by way of explanation.

The updates to the OS Explorer Map, in terms of this particular route, would have been based on information supplied by SUSTRANS, a sustainable transport charity that works with various bodies to establish cycle routes in the UK.

The traffic free cycle route, referred to in your request, was supplied to OS in 2015 and is classified as an ‘other’ cycle route, this data remains as a frozen data set. The data which is provided to Ordnance Survey by SUSTRANS is only held for six months and then overwritten with the new information, therefore we do not hold information relating to the route you refer to in your request.

Prior to September 2015, Ordnance Survey updated our Explorer Maps with cycle routes which formed part of the National Cycle Network and including routes classified as ‘other’.  Since September 2015, SUSTRANS could not guarantee that these ‘other’ types of routes which were sourced from local authorities would be maintained. They no longer form part of the information supplied by SUSTRANS. The routes updated from the information provided by SUSTRANS will only appear on the published Explorer Maps when they are next due for revision.

You may wish to contact the relevant local authority who may have been involved in the original decision to designate this route as a traffic free cycle route.

To confirm, Ordnance Survey are not involved in the decision to designate routes as traffic free cycle routes and our mapping is updated based on the policy detailed above.

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 Freedom of Information (FOI) request, as follows:

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

Contact us via our FoI form

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 ( under ‘Report a concern’ or you may wish to call the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113.