Walsall Council has published its Rights of Way Improvement Plan which outlines the local importance of the public rights of way network in the borough, along with opportunities for improvements. It provides an action plan which outlines weaknesses or problems in the current provision and sets out a robust programme of improvements to be undertaken.
Public rights of way are an important local facility. They can play a vital role in supporting local neighbourhoods, through the opportunities they provide for access to key local services, amenities and the countryside. They need to be preserved and improved for two main reasons:
Firstly, so that they meet the present and likely future needs of this area; and
Secondly, to encourage better use of the network, particularly more walking, horse riding and cycling.
Residents and visitors to Walsall were consulted to gain their views on what they liked and disliked bout public rights of way in the borough. The condition and use of our public rights of way network was examined, along with key strategic local regional and national policies and strategies. Requests for changes to our network of public rights of way were also considered.
From the views and information collated, a list of priorities for making walking, cycling and horse riding safer and easier for residents and visitors to Walsall was drawn up, forming the basis of the action plan, setting out proposals to improve the network and maintain it better, including linking public rights of way with pedestrian-friendly streets, safe crossings and routes across parks and open spaces. Plans to improve access for people who have mobility problems and provide an opportunity for a better network for our dedicated walkers, cyclists and horse riders are also included.
These measures will make it easier and more attractive for everyone to improve their health by cycling, walking or horse riding for leisure and for travel to work, schools, shops and other local facilities. Improving the extensive public rights of way network and links with other areas in neighbouring councils will benefit the whole of the community.
By creating opportunities for sustainable travel modes to become part of our everyday lives, we will be helping to reduce the impact on our environment with the cutting down of the CO
carbon footprint for every individual who uses the network of public rights of way.
The plan sets out a long term programme of improvements subject to availability of resources. We will review the proposals periodically in line with other local and national policies to ensure they continue to meet the needs of the people of Walsall.