Rights of Way

Torfaen County Borough Council’s Access Team manages 369km (230 miles) of public footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways.

These are maintained locally by teams who work with landowners to keep vegetation under control and ensure that the paths are clear.

Types of Rights of Way

Public rights of way are paths or tracks which you can use to access the countryside. Though these routes are public, they cross private land so please keep to the line of the path and respect the landowners property as well as other users of the rights of way. No-one should be intimidated of prevented from using a public right of way; this is a criminal offence and if you are stopped or challenged whilst on a right of way you must report this to the Access Team

There are four types of Rights of Way:

  • Footpath - a highway over which the public has a right of way on foot only
  • Bridleway - a highway over which the public has a right of way on foot, horseback and on a pedal cycle (including mountain-bikes). There may also be a right to drive animals along a bridleway
  • Restricted Byway - a highway over which the public is entitled to travel on foot, horseback and with non-mechanically propelled vehicles (such as pedal cycles and horse drawn vehicles). There may also be a right to drive animals along a restricted byway
  • Byway Open To All Traffic (Boat) - a highway over which the public is entitled to travel on foot, horseback or pedal cycle and by wheeled vehicle of all kinds, including horse-drawn and motorised vehicles. It is a route used by the public mainly for walking or for riding with occasional use by motorised vehicles. Most of these highways do not have a surface suitable for ordinary motor traffic

There are also permissive paths which is not a registered public right of way, but the landowner has given permission for its use by the public. Finally there are Green lanes which are usually unsurfaced tracks or paths, bounded by hedges or walls, and often of some antiquity. The term has no legal meaning or status; if there is a public right of way along such a track, it will usually be classified under one of the above headings or it could be a County Unclassified Road and will be found on the Highways List of Streets.

Last Modified: 05/11/2015
For more information contact:

Access Team

Tel: 01633 648035

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