All rural public rights of way are inspected by West Sussex County Council (WSCC), with assistance from volunteers, on a 15-month cycle, on a parish-by-parish basis. Rights of Way in certain urban areas are checked annually by our Highways Inspectors as part of our road and footway inspection programme.
Upon completion of an inspection, routine maintenance works for which the County Council is responsible, are prioritised and developed into a programme of works. This is then passed on to our maintenance contractor to carry out according to an agreed schedule (see supporting document below).
This work includes:
- surface vegetation clearance, but excludes side and overhanging vegetation, as these are the responsibility of the landowner
- waymarking and signposting
- maintenance of structures, including simple bridges (4m or less in span) and board walks, steps and handrails, but excludes stiles, gates and some fencing, which are the responsibility of the landowner.
The maintenance schedule below shows a full alphabetical list of parishes and the dates when works are due to be carried out.
Other matters for which landowners are responsible, including most structures such as gates and stiles, side and overhead vegetation and ploughed and cropped paths are recorded and prioritised. Landowners are notified where appropriate and resources allow.
In addition to the routine maintenance programme, a variety of other works will still be delivered on an annual basis. These include:
- a summer clearance programme that clears surface vegetation on selected paths
- a capital improvement programme that delivers larger scale surfacing projects and works on our bridges
- the Volunteer Task Programme that addresses issues around the county and is coordinated by our Volunteer Management Team.