Decade-long quest to map Cambridgeshire’s rights of way is completed

Shire Hall, Chambridge.

Shire Hall, Chambridge. - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire’s 3,000km of public rights of way have been mapped in one official document for the first time since 1962 – the culmination of a decade of work.

A new, consolidated version of the document that records the existence of public rights of way in Cambridgeshire has been published by Cambridgeshire County Council.

The document is vital for residents, developers and the council to legally define where rights of way are in the county.

The map and statement of public rights of way is, according to the county council, the legal record of public footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways and byways open to all traffic.

The new map consolidates maps produced in between 1952 and 1962 for the former counties of the Isle of Ely, Huntingdonshire and historic Cambridgeshire together with thousands of legal orders into a single document covering the whole of the modern county of Cambridgeshire.

This shows all changes to public rights of way that have taken place up to May 11.

The document includes a large scale map (1:10,000) together with a written statement for every route recorded on the map.

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Previously, council officers could spend several hours researching changes that had taken place since the last definitive maps were published to check the current position of a route. However, these checks can now be done in less than 15 minutes, meaning the public have quick access to accurate and up-to-date information.

Produced by Cambridgeshire County Council’s highways asset information team, the document itself is an A1 bound set of maps and separate statements arranged by parish. Copies of these documents are available for the public to view at all district council offices and at Shire Hall, in Cambridge.

In addition the working copy of the definitive map is available to view on the county council’s website at

Councillor Mac MacGuire, chairman of the highways and community infrastructure committee said: “The production of the new definitive map and statement represents the culmination of over 10 years painstaking work on various projects to improve the integrity of the records to ensure the highest levels of accuracy have been achieved.

“This project has dramatically increased the reliability of these records so that accurate information is readily available, removing the requirement for lengthy research into the history of individual routes.

“The value of these important rights in enabling sustainable transport modes and increasing opportunities for healthy activities cannot be overestimated. It’s a great credit to the project managers, and their teams, that they have achieved this with the limited resources the council has. This new record will serve the people of Cambridgeshire well in years to come.”