The New Roads and Street Works Act (NRSWA) Codes of Practice states; It is a local highways authoritys responsibility to create and maintain street gazetteer data for all streets within its geographical area, whether or not it is a the street authority for any particular street."
Public Rights of Way (PRoW) are highway and subsequently streets meaning they should appear in local highway authority submissions of street data.
In the Autumn of 2012 Darlington Borough Council decided that the council's Highway Asset Management System would be used to manage their PRoW following the Rights of Way service (and its one member of staff) transferring from the Countryside team to Highway Asset Management. Underpinned by the Local Street Gazetteer (LSG), PRoW were brought into line with the rest of the Highways service, with the importance of PRoW being recognised by the highways team.
Firstly, it was unanimously agreed within the council to link PRoW with the highways system. This along with positive internal communication made the implementation process a lot easier.
The next task was to identify and enter the 380 PRoW into the Local Street Gazetteer (LSG). Importing PRoW from a spatial file was initially considered, however this proved problematic and the decision was made to carry out the manual entry of each individual PRoW. This was undertaken by creating geometry as a replication of the PRoW from the available spatial file and creating all associated gazetteer entries including Type 3 PRoW Classifications.
Now entered into the highways system, the PRoW are subject to inspections every 3 years for accessibility and condition. The system is used to schedule these inspections and results are recorded on site in a mobile device. Works orders can now be generated from these inspections or landowners contacted if necessary.
Asset data has since been collected as part of the inspection process and is now substantially completed with 4,205 assets currently held in the system.
There is no extra maintenance as it is maintained in the same way as the rest of the National Street Gazetteer (NSG).
There were several benefits resulting from linking PRoW with highways. These include:
Benefits to Darlington Borough Council
- Assets on PRoW now linked directly to street works authority
- Ability to easily record where faults have been found
Benefits to Streetworks Coordination
- Time is saved when looking to see if work is going on over private land. This can result in financial benefits for utilities
- Utilities can easily see standards they need to work to
- Ability to prevent further issues occurring
- Rules are more obvious to everyone involved in a project
- Streetworks notices can be properly recorded, works co-ordinated and reinstatements monitored. Over 50 works have been coordinated since entry of the PRoW with examples provided below, some of these have been substantial excavations.
In Darlington a main power supply cable to a new train factory in a neighbouring authority area was installed in a Public Right of Way. Utilities are now able to serve notice for the work they were carrying out
Darlington Footpath 32 runs through a 1970's housing estate that is currently being redeveloped. It resulted in a large amount of utility activity with many services being contained in the PROW. If it wasn't in the gazetteer Darlington Borough Council wouldn't have been able to either co-ordinate or check on the standard of works.
Bob Wood (Technical Systems Manager) – [email protected]
GeoPlace - [email protected]