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Public Rights of Way

Consultation - 02 September 2019: Essex Walking Strategy 2019 -2025

Help us make walking the first choice transport for Essex

Essex County Council wants to know resident’s views about walking across the county not only for health benefits but to ease congestion.

The launch of the draft walking strategy wants to get more people walking in Essex – setting out very clear priorities to support walking across the county, understanding what is needed from footpaths and infrastructure to make walking the first choice for shorter journeys and improving our street for those in wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

The draft walking strategy sets out the key barriers, challenges and opportunities to increase levels of walking, which has dropped in the last 30 years. Walking for short trips, or as part of a longer journey combined with another mode of transport such as train, bus or car share, should be the natural choice.

The strategy will help to re-establish walking as a normal way of getting around for everyday travel and will support local plans by highlighting the importance of good walking networks which are accessible, coherent and direct for all, support walking to school, support economic development and improve road safety for all pedestrians.

If more people in our towns used a mix of walking (and cycling) with public transport, valuable road-space would be free for those with no alternative but to drive.  Encouraging more sustainable travel such as walking (and cycling) would not only reduce congestion and boost efficiency on the road network, but would also improve air quality.

Good walking networks are key to providing more choice regarding how we travel, new communities will benefit from well planned walking routes which connect homes to local schools’ shops and services, but also to bus routes and stations.  Encouraging more walking to school is a key part of managing local congestion and limited parking around schools.

For many walking is the low cost way to get to the local shops, doctors, school, work – or even the nearest bus stop to continue a journey more sustainably, and now the council want to make it the natural choice for shorter journeys – and understand what the barriers are if walking is not an option.

Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure said: “I want to help make walking the first choice for travel around our great County. The Walking Strategy is a plan for all pedestrians, to get more of us walking on our network of footways and paths in our rural areas, towns, cities and neighbourhoods. While motivated by the need to reduce congestion and improve the resilience of our transport networks, especially for shorter journeys, the benefits of making our towns more walkable will be a more active, healthier population and a safer and cleaner environment."

Essex County Council wants to know residents views on the draft walking strategy and a consultation will run for six weeks, until 18 October particularly seeking views on:

  • What are your main motivations for walking?
  • Do you experience any barriers to walking/is there something which is currently stopping you from walking more?
  • How can we encourage you to walk more?
  • How often do you walk?

The consultation can be completed online at: and responses will inform the final Essex walking strategy 2019 -2025– A Strategy to promote more walking and improve the pedestrian environment.

Public Rights of Way

There are over six thousand kilometres of Public Rights of Way in Essex, comprising footpaths, bridleways and byways.

We have a statutory duty to record and keep public rights of way open.

Our team providing this service comprise of the Definitive Map and Records team, the Localism, Liaison and Enforcement teams, the Inspection team and the Operations and Delivery team. We all work together to assert and protect your public rights of way network. 

Use these pages to find out more about the services we provide and the works that we undertake.