Path at Alexandra Park

What is the aim of the project?

The aim of the project is to make a legal record of the public rights of way within the City of Bath. This is known as the definitive map and statement. The City of Bath did not previously have a definitive map and statement for the public rights of way within the city boundary.  The project process is described in full.

What does the project involve?

It is a long term project, expected to take until at least 2025, involving researching possible public rights of way using both historical evidence and the evidence supplied by people who use them.  It is not intended to record pavements or private alleyways and paths which solely give access to people's properties.  The paths of the city are researched on a ward by ward basis, starting with Weston Ward in the north west of the city and finishing in Combe Down Ward in the south east of the city.  Click here for a map showing the wards.

What are the benefits?

Having an accurate record of the public rights of way will assist in the planning of their maintenance and improvement. The Ordnance Survey maps for the area will be updated to show the public rights of way, meaning that more people will benefit from using them. Other Council initiatives such as Walking for Life and the Joint Local Transport Plan will be able to incorporate the information into their plans.

Project Progress as at January 2022

  • The Definitive Map and Statement for the City of Bath was published in 2006 and comprises of 54 paths with an approximate length of 8km.
  • A further 355 paths with an approximate length of 50km have been added to the Working Copy of the Definitive Map and Statement since it was published in 2006. 
  • This makes the number of paths recorded on the Bath Working Copy Map to be 409 with a total length of approximately 58km. 
  • By the end of the project, around 675 paths with an approximate length of 101km will have been researched; not all of the researched paths are found to be public rights of way.
  • Research has been carried out in the following wards - Weston, Lansdown, Lambridge, Newbridge, Kingsmead, Abbey, River Path & Towpath (paths along and adjoining, in various wards), Walcot, Bathwick, Twerton, Westmoreland, Widcombe and Southdown.  Research will begin in Moorlands Ward in the spring. 
  • Approximately 114 paths are yet to be researched with an approximate length of 20km.
  • In 2019, the ward boundaries in the City of Bath were changed.  Some areas within the new wards have already been researched, prior to the ward boundary change.
  • The wards still to be completed are Oldfield, Lyncombe, Odd Down and Combe Down.  These wards are now part of Moorlands, Westmoreland, Oldfield Park, Widcombe and Lyncombe, Odd Down and Combe Down.

Project update - view the latest information and maps of the wards

Definitive Map and Statement (DMS) - City of Bath

The first DMS for the City of Bath was published on 29th March 2006.  It includes 54 public rights of way within the City of Bath. 

  • The Definitive Map and Statement are held in Keynsham Civic Centre
  • A copy of the Definitive Map and Statement can be found at the Archives at the Guildhall, Bath 

The map and statement are available to view during office hours.  The intention is to make the map and statement available on-line on the Council’s internet site in the near future. Please note that the Definitive Map and Statement does not yet cover the whole of the city of Bath.  For enquiries about Public Rights of Way in the city, contact the Public Rights of Way Team on 01225 394940.

Definitive Map and Statement (DMS) - Rural areas (outside of the City of Bath)

The Definitive Map and Statement for the area of Bath and North East Somerset outside of the city of Bath can be found at the Keynsham Civic Centre.  For enquiries about Public Rights of way outside of the city of Bath, contact the Public Rights of Way Team on 01225 477532.

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