Details of public rights of way in Bolton are kept in our Definitive Map and Statement. The ‘map’ shows the location of the footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways that we look after.  Accompanying the map is the ‘statement’; this is a narrative description of the routes on the map.

Each route is a unique highway and as such has its own reference.  Alongside each reference are details of the location, length, width and surface type of the path and a general description of its route with respect to local landmarks such as farms. Together these documents form a legal record, proving the existence of public rights of way.

Where can I see the Definitive Map and Statement?

The Definitive Map and Statement is held by the Council’s Public Rights of Way Team.  See the 'contacts' tab above for our location and contact details. 
The map and statement can be viewed during normal office hours (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday). Please make an appointment before visiting the office.

You can also access a copy of the Definitive Map on the My Maps section of this website in the Transport and Streets category.

Paper copies of the Definitive Map and Statement are also held at Bolton Central Library and at the local libraries in Westhoughton and Farnworth.  However, due to the frequency of changes to the map these may not always be up to date.

On the download tab above you can also download public rights of way map data on to your computer to make your own maps with freely available software such as Google Earth™. The data shows the location of public rights of way and the data has been published under the Open Government Licence terms. By downloading this data you agree to abide by the terms and conditions of this licence. A copy of the Open Government Licence is included in the downloads section. Please note this data is not a copy of the definitive legal map, and should be used for reference only.

Keeping our map up to date

We look after our Map and Statement because we are the appointed ‘Surveying Authority’ for the Bolton area.  Like other forms of highway, the Rights of Way network is subject to changes that may come about for a variety of reasons. Amongst the more common types of change which need to be reflected on the Definitive Map are:

  • Diversions of Public Paths 
  • Upgrades in status e.g. from footpath to bridleway 
  • Creation of new routes 
  • Extinguishment of sections of footpaths 
  • Addition of previously unrecognised footpaths or bridleways

It is important to keep an up-to-date map as it is used to plan maintenance work, provide signposts or prove the positions of paths to carry out enforcement work.

Public Rights of Way

Highways & Engineering

Floor 4

The Wellsprings

Victoria Square



Telephone 01204 336487
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