Portsmouth City Council is seeking views on the Public Rights of Way network through a 12-week opinion survey which will feed into the draft Public Rights of Way Improvement Plan. The results of the survey will help the council to assess how the walking routes and open spaces currently meet peoples’ needs and expectations. This will help them decide what enhancements, if any, are needed to maintain and improve the routes.
There are 103 walking routes spanning over 8km and 780 hectares of publicly accessible open space in Portsmouth and they are captured in the Rights of Way Definitive Map and Statement. These routes and open spaces connect people of all ages and abilities, allowing them to enjoy areas of recreation and exercise. People using the Rights of Way can access historical buildings and culture, as well as nature, the beach and sea. They also form a vital link for people to access shopping areas, and to commute to and from work.
A number of promoted routes featured on the map and in the draft plan are of historical, literary or Naval importance, such as the Shipwright’s Way, which runs 50 miles into Portsmouth from Alice Holt Forest in North Hampshire, and The Pilgrim’s Trail, which connects Winchester Cathedral to Normandy in France, via Portsmouth. These routes form links to Portsmouth from the wider area, encouraging visitors into the city which provides a boost to the local economy.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said: “We’re asking people to help us develop a high-quality plan which supports our Public Rights of Way network with well-maintained routes for walking across the city.
“It’s really important that people take part to help us understand what actions we can take to develop a network for future generations which supports healthier lifestyles for everyone who lives, works, visits and studies here.”
The council’s recently-adopted Local Transport Plan 4 prioritises walking and cycling as one of its four key objectives. By providing better-connected routes and improving infrastructure, the council supports and encourages people to walk and cycle, helping to develop healthier lifestyles and cleaner air.
To take part in the Public Rights of Way Improvement Plan survey, visit travel.portsmouth.gov.uk/ROWIP. The survey closes on Sunday 6 February 2022.