There are over 350 km of public rights of way in Bolton, which are spread widely across the borough. There is great diversity in both their appearance, and the standard of maintenance that they require each year.

Rural paths

Many of the rural paths in Bolton are unsurfaced, especially where they run across arable or pasture land. The most common problems associated with these paths are; overgrowing vegetation, resulting in a need to cut back vegetation at least once a year, mud, standing water, and broken or worn out stiles and gates. For those rural paths that lead through woodland, parkland or connect small developments, there is sometimes a stone surface. Common problems associated with stone surface paths include, wearing due to poor drainage or their use by vehicles, and the accumulation of mud.

Keeping our unsurfaced paths clear and our surfaced paths in good order consumes a great deal of resources.  As well as finding problems ourselves we also rely on members of the public to report faults in their areas to us.

Urban paths

Urban paths generally have a formal hard standing surface, usually macadam. They are invariably lit by street lights and offer a good walking surface for most people including those with mobility problems. Unlike our rural paths we think that people expect to be able to walk on urban paths in their normal daytime footwear without having to put boots on.

Planning maintenance

Each year we undertake planned maintenance with regard to the following criteria:

  • Does the condition pose a danger to users?
  • Is the route an essential link?
  • How much is the route used?

Rights of Way Improvement Plan

As a result of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, all highway authorities in England and Wales have to produce a Rights of Way Improvement Plan. The purpose of these plans is to identify the current and projected future needs of the public with regards to public rights of way, and to plan for the provision of shortfalls in the network.

Our Rights of Way Improvement Plan can be viewed online.

Public Rights of Way

4Th Floor

The Wellsprings

Victoria Square



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