Footway maintenance standards are unlikely to be reflected by road classification - it is the amount of pedestrian usage that counts, rather than the category of the road. Local factors such as the proximity of schools and shops are also important in this context.
Suffolk Highways has therefore developed a separate footway hierarchy to assist with the prioritisation of our maintenance as shown in the table below.
List of footway categories
- Busy urban shopping and business areas
- Main pedestrian routes
- Medium use routes through local areas feeding into main pedestrian routes, local shopping centres, etc.
- Footways linking local access ways through urban areas and busy rural areas
- Footways associated with low usage, short estate roads to the main routes
- Little used rural footways serving very limited numbers of properties
- Mandatory cycle lanes forming part of the carriageway
Urban Rights of Way
Some footpaths within urban areas are recorded on the definitive map as public rights of way - in urban areas these may provide a route to shops, schools etc. Some of these footpaths are metalled (surfaced for example with asphalt or paving slabs). Where footpaths are metalled then they will be assigned an appropriate category within the footway hierarchy (shown above) and will be inspected and maintained accordingly.
Most unmetalled footpaths in urban areas are managed as part of the wider public rights of way network and surface inspection and maintenance is undertaken on a mainly reactive basis.