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 Surface issues

Essex County Council (ECC) are responsible for the surface condition of Public Rights of Way. We aim to maintain them in keeping with their rural nature and to a standard that allows members of the public to pass safely. ECC are not responsible for maintaining a path for private rights nor are we responsible for fixing damage caused by those exercising private rights. For example, where cars using a bridleway to access residential property have created potholes, it is for the landowner to make good the surface. 

Drainage problems on PROW can be very complex and sometimes a seasonal matter. These issues are often monitored over several months before action is taken to resolve them. If the solution is to add hard surfacing material over long lengths of the path, then often funding will need to be sought before any action can be taken.

ECC protect the right for you to pass and re-pass over the land but the land is privately owned which means that when works to the surface of a path are required, it has to be done in conjunction with the landowners.

Select the relevant option below, you will then be able to report your issue on our map, your report will be received by our inspection team for review and action where necessary.

Some options will take you another category so that your report will be correctly recorded for our inspection team. 

These problems often require large capital investment into improving the surface from a natural one to one that is surfaced. Applications are made to the Local Highways Panels for funding bi-annually but they are not always successful.

rutted path

Where a path crosses a field which is usually cropped landholders have a responsibility to mark out the line of the path on the ground to indicate which direction you should follow. This is not always necessary if waymark posts are visible on either side of the crossing.

markings on path

It is the responsibility of the landholder to reinstate a reasonable surface following ploughing so that the path is not obstructed or difficult to follow. ECC can contact the landholder on your behalf. If the landholder does not reinstate the path then ECC will follow an enforcement process than can take up to 8 weeks.

ploughed path