Agenda Item No. 4
Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) Background and Update
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 required local highway authorities to produce Rights of Way Improvement Plans (ROWIPs). These were intended to provide prioritised plans for the improvement of the local rights of way network for all users – walkers, cyclists, horse riders, off road users as well as people with sight and mobility problems. When introduced the plans were intended to cover a 10 year period.
The Vale of Glamorgan’s ROWIP was published in November 2007. The vision for the plan was agreed by LAF and Council to be “To provide, maintain and improve the network of Public Rights of Way and countryside access for everyone AND to enable and encourage increasingly convenient and responsible use and enjoyment of the Vale's countryside and coast”.
Work identified within the plan was identified according to three broad areas (management, stakeholders and information/communication) and by reference to the following principles:
1. Access for all
2. Management strategy
3. Sustainable improvements
4. Better information
5. Improved network of routes
6. Wider context
In order to implement the plans the Welsh Government allocated funding to support them under a programme initially agreed to run 3 years until 2010-11. This was extended to a fourth year covering 2011-12 and strong indication has been given that funding will return for a fifth year (2011-12).The money is delivered to local authorities in the form of a grant administered by the Countryside Council for Wales.
In the financial period 2008-2011 the Vale of Glamorgan benefited from £138,271 of ROWIP. An award of £33,169 was initially granted for the current financial year and extended to £39,342 in December 2011. It is believed a similar initial amount is likely to be offered during 2012-13.
This year’s programme has included the following elements:
Funding a post to quality assure map data and assist the Council in working towards republication of the Definitive Map. The most visible outcome of this is work has been the recent addition of Public Rights of Way data to the Vale’s Website
Match funding of Rural Development Plan schemes. This has enabled substantial improvement works at Corntown and Cowbridge to be completed.
Training for specialist Countryside Access software used by the Council to analyse condition survey data previously captured (CAMS)
Delivery of a biodiversity element of the scheme.