Rights of Way - Information and Advice

There are approximately 750 kilometres of public rights of way managed by the Council. The network provides links between the countryside and towns and villages and enables the public to explore the local countryside and heritage.

Picture of public right of way

What is a Public Right of Way?

A public right of way is a route registered on the Definitive Map under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. There are routes in towns, villages and the countryside, though footpaths are not to be confused with highway footways e.g. pavements on the side of the road.

Public Rights of Way are public footpaths, bridleways and byways. The council endeavours to ensure that public rights of way are signposted off roads and way marked along the paths. These are some of the signs to look for:

Public Right Of Way
Footpaths - For use on foot only.
There are over 650 km of footpaths in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Footpath Signpost Footpath Waymark
Bridleway - For use on foot, horse back and pedal cycle.
There are over 80 km of bridleways within Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Bridleway Signpost Bridleway Waymark
Byways - Open to all traffic including Motor Vehicles.
There are over 18 km of Byways within Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Byway Waymar  

There are also permissive paths within the borough where the landowner including the Council has given permission and provision for the public to walk across their land. These paths are not recorded on the definitive map.

Permissive Route

What are the Council’s responsibilities?

The Council works to maintain the public rights of way network with maintenance partnerships with parish and town councils. To maintain the public rights of way network we undertake the following task:

  • Signposts where paths leave a metalled road
  • Waymark routes where unclear
  • Maintain surface for walkers and horses (where appropriate)
  • Cutting and clearing vegetation
  • Install and maintain bridges
  • Undertake drainage works

Landowners or occupiers are responsible for controlling vegetation to ensure that the route is always open for use by the public. Landowners also have a duty to maintain stiles and gates on footpaths and bridleways in a good order.

Defintive Map Modification Orders

Under the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, a Modification Order may be applied for by any person wishing to claim a new public right of way, re-classify or delete an existing one.  The online register of Definitive Map Modification Order Applications can be viewed in the related documents section of this page.

Contact Us

For more information about where to walk please contact us:

Llwyn Castan
Library Road
CF37 2YA

Telephone: 01443 400563
Fax No: 01443 405184
Email: ParksCountryside@rhondda-cynon-taff.gov.uk