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National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

27Surveys of public paths, etc., and preparation of draft maps and statements

(1)Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, the council of every county in England or Wales shall, as soon as may be after the date of the commencement of this Act, carry out a survey of all lands in their area over which a right of way to which this Part of this Act applies is alleged to subsist, and shall, not later than the expiration of three years after that date or of such extended period as the Minister may in any particular case allow, prepare a draft map of their area, showing thereon a footpath or a bridleway, as may appear to the council to be appropriate, wherever in their opinion such a right of way subsisted, or is reasonably alleged to have subsisted, at the relevant date.

(2)A map prepared in accordance with the last foregoing subsection shall also show thereon any way which, in the opinion of the authority carrying out the survey (hereinafter referred to as " the surveying authority "), was at the relevant date, or was at that date reasonably alleged to be, a road used as a public path.

(3)For the purposes of this section, the relevant date shall, in relation to the preparation of a draft map, be such date, not being earlier than six months before the date on which notice of the preparation of the draft map is published in accordance with the following provisions of this Part of this Act, as the surveying authority may determine.

(4)An authority by whom a draft map is prepared as aforesaid shall annex thereto a statement specifying the relevant date and containing, as respects any public path or other way shown thereon in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section, such particulars appearing to the authority to be reasonably alleged as to the position and width thereof, or as to any limitations or conditions affecting the public right of way thereover, as in the opinion of the authority it is expedient to record in the statement.

(5)Any duty imposed by this section to prepare a map relating to any area may be discharged by the preparation, whether at the same time or at different times, of two or more maps, each comprising part of the area but together comprising the whole thereof; and where two or more such maps are prepared all proceedings under the following provisions of this Part of this Act may, except as hereinafter expressly provided, be taken separately in relation to each map.

(6)In this Part of this Act the following expressions have the meanings hereby respectively assigned to them, that is to say.—

  • " footpath " means a highway over which the public have a right of way on foot only, other than such a highway at the side of a public road ;

  • " bridleway " means a highway over which the public have the following, but no other, rights of way, that is to say. a right of way on foot and a right of way on horseback or leading a horse, with or without a right to drive animals of any description along the highway;

  • " horse " includes pony, ass and mule, and " horseback " shall be construed accordingly;

  • " public path " means a highway being either a footpath or a bridleway;

  • " right of way to which this Part of this Act applies " means a right of way such that the land over which the right subsists is a public path;

  • " road used as a public path " means a highway, other than a public path, used by the public mainly for the purposes for which footpaths or bridleways are so used.

(7)A highway at the side of a river, canal or other inland navigation shall not be excluded from any definition contained in the last foregoing subsection by reason only that the public have a right to use the highway for purposes of navigation, if the highway would fall within that definition if the public had no such right thereover.

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