We have been waiting a long time for the implementation of the rights of way provisions in the Deregulation Act 2015, which will finally give effect to the remaining provisions in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. The uncertainty caused by Brexit has led to the specialist DEFRA officers being reassigned, and the work of the Stakeholder Working Group being put on ice.
This hiatus has caused a lot of worry to organisations directly affected by the 2026 ‘cut off’ for making changes to the definitive map of rights of way, and pressure is mounting on the government to delay the cut-off back to 2031, as CRoWA 2000 already allows.
On 15th March LARA submitted a question about the need for this delay to the current Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee inquiry; LARA also co-signed a letter, dated 22nd March, from The Ramblers to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State. By coincidence, or not(?), this proposed delay is to be debated in the House of Lords on the afternoon of Tuesday 2nd April 2019, lead by Lord Greaves, a Lib-Dem peer with particular interests in outdoor recreation.
Is there a head of steam building here?