04/07/07 – First Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) launched in Wales

After two years of extensive consultation, the BBNPA has delivered the first plan for any local authority in Wales and the only ROWIP to be produced by a National Park Authority in the UK. 

The comprehensive plan looks at the future strategic management of rights of way and access land in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park and how the network can improve quality of life for the whole community, identifying where improvements, infrastructure or otherwise, will help deliver this over the next 10 years. 

It covers nearly 2000 kilometres of rights of way in the National Park and sets out the way these routes will be maintained and improved to enhance the public’s enjoyment.

At the heart of the newly launched ROWIP are assessments of the extent to which rights of way meet the current and future needs of the public; the opportunities for exercise, open-air recreation and enjoyment in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park and, the accessibility of rights of way  to disabled people.

Chris Gledhill, Chief Executive of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, said: “We are thrilled to launch Wales’ first ROWIP and to be the only National Park to launch a plan of this significance. The adoption of this Rights of Way Improvement Plan ensures our focus towards the future accessibility of our rights of way network and people’s continued access to and enjoyment of the countryside.  

“It also means we now have a strategic approach with which to better target resources to improve the rights of way network and improve its accessibility to all users.  Open air recreation, healthier lifestyles, social inclusion, sustainable transport, tourism and rural businesses are at the very heart of our National Park and a direct benefit for all those who live, work and visit the Bannau Brycheiniog.”

The ROWIP was produced after extensive consultation with people within and outside the National Park including landowners,  residents, visitors, partner organisations and the Local Area Access Forums (LAFs) who advised the National Park Authority on rights of way and access issues.

Eifion Jones, Rights of Way Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said: “This ROWIP is a great achievement for the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority and comes after many years of hard work.  It is also a great accomplishment for the many people who have contributed, making it very much a document for the public.   With increased funding and the right support it should deliver huge benefits to all those who enjoy the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park.”

The ROWIP will be produced in print and will be officially published in September 2007.

 Anyone wishing to view the document prior to hard copies being available can do so online at www.breconbeacons.org  or can contact Eifion Jones on 01874 620452