Duty to clear vegetation on footpaths

robin ford made this Freedom of Information request to Norfolk County Council

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Dear Norfolk County Council,

I used to walk occasionally along the river bank between Bramerton and Surlingham (and back). The river walk that I mean can be seen here...

http://www.wherrymansway.net/wherrymans_...

It is the section of bank to the South West of where it says River and ending/starting where the arrow is where it says Broads Authority 24 Hr Moorings. That is incorrect, by the way. They aren't there, they are on the Common.

We found recently that this path is now completely blocked by natural vegetation and we had to walk via Long Plantation, which wasn't what we wanted to do. I thought that Norfolk County Council had a duty to clear footpaths of vegetation, in the same way that it has a duty to clear the same for pavements and roads.

My requests -

Please forward copies of details of what duty Norfolk CC has to clear footpaths.

Please forward copies of details of what duty Norfolk CC has to remove overhanging foliage on highways.

Yours faithfully,

robin ford

Information Management, Norfolk County Council

5 Attachments

Good Morning,

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Information Request ENQ-256138-G8C8W1

 

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 received on 24 July 2018.

 

Lewis Freeman will be dealing with your request.
 
We have up to 20 days in which to deal with your request. If we require
clarification regarding your request, we will contact you to explain this.
The 20 working day period will then start from the day that we receive
your clarification.
 
You will also be informed in advance if there is a charge for supplying
copies of the information.

 

Please also be aware that, if the requested information contains
references to any third parties, we may need to consult these individuals
about the release of their personal data before making a decision whether
or not to release the information to you.

 

We will also provide an explanation if any information is not released to
you.

 

Should you have any queries regarding your request, please contact the
team by email [1][email address] or by telephone
01603 222661.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sarah Cooper, Business Support Assistant

Information Compliance Team

Dept: 01603 222661

Room B18, County Hall, Norwich

[2]Norfolk County Council   [3]Twitter[4]Facebook[5]Web

 

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Robert Whittaker left an annotation ()

The Ramblers Association have a lot of information about Public Rights of Way that you may find useful: http://www.ramblers.org.uk/advice/rights... . In addition, they have specific pages about how to force Highway Authorities (i.e. County Councils and Unitary Authorities) to fulfil their duties with regard to path maintenance.

Vegetation growing up from the surface of a path is considered a maintenance issue, and the duty on the Highway Authority arises from the Highways Act. See http://www.ramblers.org.uk/advice/improv... . Vegetation growing in from the sides is considered an obstruction, and the duty on the Highway Authority arises from the Countryside and Rights of Way Act. See http://www.ramblers.org.uk/advice/improv... .

Information Management, Norfolk County Council

5 Attachments

Dear Robin

 

I refer to your request for information dated 24 July 2018.  I apologise
for the delay in our response which is due to severe staffing difficulties
in this team.

 

You asked for details of what duty Norfolk CC has to clear footpaths and
details of what duty Norfolk CC has to remove overhanging foliage on
highways.

 

Our response:

 

The information you require is available on the Council’s website at:

 

[1]https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/out-and-about...

If you are dissatisfied with our handling of your request you have the
right of appeal through the Council’s internal review procedure by setting
out the grounds of your appeal in writing to:

 

[2][email address]

or Information Compliance Team

Room 043

County Hall

Martineau Lane

Norwich

NR1 2DH

 

An appeal should be submitted within 40 working days of the date of this
notice and should be identified as "FOI Appeal".

 

If you are dissatisfied after pursuing the complaints procedure, you may
apply to the Information Commissioner under Section 50 of the Act for a
decision whether your request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of Part I of the Act.  Refer to the ICO
Website at: [3]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/ for advice on how to report a
concern.  Or you can write to them at:

 

First Contact Team

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane, Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Compliance Officer

Information Management Service

Norfolk County Council

County Hall

Martineau Lane

Norwich

NR1 2DH

[4]Norfolk County Council   [5]Twitter[6]Facebook[7]Web

 

[8]Campaign Logo

 

From: Information Management
Sent: 24 July 2018 08:42
To: 'robin ford' <[FOI #500943 email]>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Duty to clear vegetation on
footpaths

 

Good Morning,

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Information Request ENQ-256138-G8C8W1

 

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 received on 24 July 2018.

 

Lewis Freeman will be dealing with your request.
 
We have up to 20 days in which to deal with your request. If we require
clarification regarding your request, we will contact you to explain this.
The 20 working day period will then start from the day that we receive
your clarification.
 
You will also be informed in advance if there is a charge for supplying
copies of the information.

 

Please also be aware that, if the requested information contains
references to any third parties, we may need to consult these individuals
about the release of their personal data before making a decision whether
or not to release the information to you.

 

We will also provide an explanation if any information is not released to
you.

 

Should you have any queries regarding your request, please contact the
team by email [9][email address] or by telephone
01603 222661.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sarah Cooper, Business Support Assistant

Information Compliance Team

Dept: 01603 222661

Room B18, County Hall, Norwich

[10]Norfolk County Council   [11]Twitter[12]Facebook[13]Web

 

[14]Campaign Logo

 

 

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robin ford left an annotation ()

Thank you, Robert Whittaker for the information in your annotation.

The footpath has been cleared and is again usable as the circular walk that I linked to in my request. However, since then, www.wherrymansway.net and the circular walk have disappeared from the internet!

And, disregarding the law, NCC took four and a half months to reply.

What exactly is going on?