Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP)

Ended on the 6 March 2009

5. The Assessment

Highway Authorities are to assess

"...the extent to which local rights of way meet the present and likely future needs of the public".12

The assessment for SBC was carried out by way of a questionnaire and a desk-top study. The questionnaire was distributed as an enclosure within the free OUTLOOK magazine (Issue 2 - December 2006) that was delivered to every household within the Borough of Southend-on-Sea. The article accompanying the questionnaire outlined the details and requirements of the ROWIP. The desk-top study is discussed in Section 6 (Evaluation).

See Appendix 3 for a copy of the ROWIP article and questionnaire.

The article and questionnaire were also made available on the Council website.


The free magazine was delivered to 73,100 households.

A total of 202 responses were received indicating satisfaction with various elements of the network.

A total of 264 responses were received highlighting various issues of dissatisfaction, the majority being:-

  • Not enough cycle tracks
  • Conflict of use between cyclists and the users of footpaths and footways
  • Lack of information
  • Poor maintenance and surface condition insufficient
  • Litter
  • Dog fouling
  • Insufficient links between the PRoW network and various modes of transport

(1) Specific needs of users

People with limited mobility would like to see:

  • more dropped kerbs along the footway linking to the footpath network;
  • more dropped kerbs for wheelchairs;
  • a more suitable surface for their needs;
  • better information regarding the type and condition of routes egdistance, type of surface, location of barriers (such as styles, gates etc), more seats to allow for resting places along the route and more enforcement to stop cycling on footpaths and footways

Cyclists would like:

  • a route that runs along the seafront;
  • an increase in the number of cycle routes generally;
  • better links between those routes already in place.

Parents with pushchairs would like:

  • improved access to the beach areas.

Horse riders would like:

  • more bridleways in the Borough, in particular, routes that link into neighbouring Essex.

Walkers would like:

  • to see provision of more litter bins and dog bins;
  • asphalted surfaces on footpaths;
  • to see cyclists keeping to their own routes.

General comments:

  • uneven surfaces cause difficulties;
  • more maintenance on urban sections to reduce number of potholes;
  • traffic management for routes used as 'rat runs' to make them safer;
  • improve quality of network;
  • remove obstacles;
  • create more challenging networks;
  • more continuous routes;
  • clearer signposting with distances, surface types etc;
  • keep dogs under control;
  • more information;
  • improve lighting;
  • making routes more attractive i.e: green, nice surfacing, not tarmac.

12 The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 - S60(2)(a)

For instructions on how to use the system and make comments, please see our help guide.
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