Agenda item



Rose Wicks updated the Forum on the feedback received in response to the public consultation on the draft ROWIP2, which had now closed. Rose thanked members of the Forum for their input and advised members that the draft Plan would be going to the Council’s Executive for approval at the end of October.


Feedback from 4 members of the public were discussed and the following points were raised:

  • A request was made for a new cycle path parallel to Old Wokingham Road / Peacock Lane. Upgrading the surface of the current path (not a PRoW) might help to improve access for cyclists, however not all of the land was in the Borough Council’s control, which limited options about what could realistically be achieved. This matter was to be run past the Council’s Transport Development Team. (Action Graham Pockett)
  • It was suggested by a respondent that Murellhill Lane be recognised as a PRoW, however as it was already classed as an ancient highway, it already had more rights then a PRoW.
  • The RoWIP focused on the use of pavements by cyclists but could equally apply to pedestrians on cycle lanes, which needed to be better reflected in the plan. It was asked whether there could be clearer distinction between paths and cycle lanes, including installing signage at points where pedestrians were likely to join the cycle lane.  At the LAF conference there was little perceived conflict between user groups of shared routes and members’ agreed that segregating a footpath might actually give rise to greater conflict, as it increased the perceived division between the two. (Action Graham Pockett)
  • A request was received for a key to the tick system in resource requirements featured in the Action Plan table. (Action: Rose Wicks)
  • Members’ agreed with the suggestion to make full use of partner organisations to help promote activities such as walking in the borough. There would also be scope to create a map with parks and routes.

Feedback from groups and organisations was received as part of the consultation and Rose Wicks thanked Forum members for their contributions, particularly for the feedback they had provided to the Action Plan prior to the consultation going live.


It was noted that the promotion of cycle routes should be incorporated as a new action in the RoWIP, to sit alongside the action to promote circular walks (Action Ref.1). (Action: Rose Wicks)


It was suggested that the council should add an action to produce online copies of routes in GPX format, for Garmin/smart phones, as well as the current pdf versions. (Action: Rose Wicks)


It was also acknowledged that there were opportunities to create connections between Bracknell Forest PRoW and other authorities to create longer routes.


Feedback from the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership was discussed and the following points raised:


  • The partnership would support a statement to get the Blackwater Valley Path dedicated as a PRoW. (Action Graham Pockett)
  • To take a wider approach to analysing the network. Expansion of the PRoW maps to include cycle routes and green spaces, with consideration given to urban routes that connect between PRoW and spaces. Reference was made to the study (Play, Open Spaces and Sports) recently carried out by Bracknell Forest Council to review and map all the publically accessible green spaces in the borough. This identified the importance of green corridors such as Edmund’s Lane .(Action: Rose Wicks)
  • It was proposed that the Forum should be consulted on housing development proposals over 20 houses to identify path opportunities to link up routes in Bracknell, although it was acknowledged that a working group would be required due to the frequency of Forum meetings. (Action: Graham Pockett to investigate and speak to planning)


Feedback from Binfield Parish Council was discussed and the following points raised:

  • Following feedback, the Binfield Neighbourhood Plan and other town/parish neighbourhood plans would be referenced in RoWIP2. (Action: Rose Wicks)
  • It was suggested that the quality of PRoW should be examined alongside looking at the volume, as Binfield had a number of PRoWs which were poor quality or fragmented. .(Action: Rose Wicks & Graham Pockett)
  • In conjunction with the newly formed Binfield Environment Group, Binfield Parish Council would look to restart annual inspections as local activities; which the Forum acknowledged would make a positive contribution to monitoring the condition of PRoWs
  • The Parish Council wished to improve signage for PRoWs where old names were showing. Providing there was no record of path name already recorded in the Definitive Map and Statement, LCAF confirmed that Binfield Parish Council were able and encouraged to do this and that an action should be included to encourage other towns and parishes to follow suit. (Action: Rose Wicks to add to action plan)


Feedback from Hampshire Countryside Access Forum was discussed and the following points were made:

  • Hampshire Countryside Access Forum was pleased with the RoWIP2 especially with regards to maintenance and upgrading of existing routes and cross-border linkages.
  • There was a greater emphasis on the many good shorter circular routes in and through Bracknell Forest which combined use of part of the Blackwater Valley Path with other rights of way.
  • It was noted that walkers did not realise where boundaries were, which made an argument for consistent route markings. However, the boundaries were important for reporting problems to the correct authority.


The Forum also discussed the mechanisms in place for cross-boundary communication between authorities to ensure consistent standards of maintenance.


Following the consultation on the draft RoWIP2, the document was being finalised ready for presentation to Council on 27 October 2017. Officers thanked members’ for all their input into the draft plan.  The Forum agreed that they would be happy to endorse the plan, by providing a statement to be included in the main document.


Rose Wicks asked Members for any photo resources they had available, which could be used for the RoWIP2. Pictures were particularly needed of PRoW signs, horse riders, volunteers, walkers and cyclists. Permission would be needed from the people featured in the photos if the pics were to be used in the plan (Action: All and Rose Wicks).


Rob Solomon and Graham Pockett updated the Forum on actions resulting from the new ROWIP2. This included

  • Replacing stiles with more accessible gates along 5 footpaths.
  • Surface improvements to 4 PRoW, including 650m at Shepherd Meadows(SANG path) which had been well received by local people and should ensure the path was more resilient to flooding in future.
  • Hogoak Lane resurfacing and the addition of signage and new bollards to prevent access by unauthorised vehicles.