Through the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, the government recognises the value of public rights of way and requires each highway authority to produce a Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP).
The ROWIP contains a statement of the action we (as the highway authority for Suffolk) propose to take for the management of our public rights of way and for securing an improved network of routes in Suffolk.
The ROWIP assesses the:
- extent to which local rights of way meet the present and likely future needs of the public
- opportunities provided by local footpaths, cycle tracks, bridleways and byways for exercise and other forms of open-air recreation, and the enjoyment of the area
- accessibility of local rights of way to blind or partially sighted persons and others with mobility problems
Following widespread consultation, Suffolk's first ROWIP, titled 'In Step With Suffolk', was published in 2006. It included information on the extent, condition and use of the public rights of way network, and highlighted the key role that public rights of way have in maintaining and improving quality of life in the county. The ROWIP also recognised that public rights of way are linked to issues such as sustainable transport, health, boosting the local economy, tourism and recreation.
The second ROWIP was published in 2020 and is titled the Suffolk Green Access Strategy (PDF, 1.9MB). It is a 10 year strategy covering 2020 to 2030.