Public Rights of Way consultation – open until 24 July 2021

Reading Borough Council (RBC) are encouraging residents to have their say on how they currently use Reading’s Public Rights of Way Network, in a bid to provide a better experience for its users and encourage active travel.

What is a Public Right of Way?

Public Rights of Way are rights across land accessible by the public, which allow people to pass along them at any time they choose – even if the land is privately owned. This includes footpaths, bridleways – which are also open to horse riders and cyclists, restricted byways (for any transport without a motor – except for powered wheelchairs or mobility scooters) and byways which are open to all traffic. The council manages the Public Rights of Way Network in Reading, which covers 41 footpaths, three bridleways and one restricted byway.

RBC manages 21 miles of public Rights of Way across the borough, which provide vital connections for many people to access open space and are often used by residents when travelling to work and school. It is important that we protect, maintain and enhance Rights of Way across the Borough. This network supports our ambitions to encourage active travel (e.g. cycling and walking) and as a result support better physical and mental health, lower carbon generation and improved air quality.


Over the last year, these local routes have been used so much more during the lockdown periods, where people explored their local areas. Increased walking around our local areas has been beneficial to our health and mental wellbeing and has also helped towards improving air quality within the borough.

RBC are inviting you to have your say on how you currently use Reading’s Public Rights of Way Network, to highlight any barriers or issues to increased use of the network, and suggest what could be done to enhance the network – for example, make it more accessible to all users, better maintained or signposted. This will allow them to update their Public Rights of Way Improvement Plan – a sub-strategy of Reading’s Local Transport Plan.

As part of the consultation, RBC are also encouraging people to report any historic Rights of Way that may be missing from the current network. This could include, for example, access to the private park land within the former BBC Monitoring Site at Caversham Park, which is currently on the market and off limits to the public, but some local residents claim the area once included public footpaths.

Further information