Report a problem with a Right of Way

Report a problem with a Public Right of Way in West Sussex.

1 Overview

Please note: Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, our office-based staff are currently working remotely. We will continue to carry out high priority maintenance work. However, some of our other work areas may be restricted during this time.

We receive a large number of reports and cannot reply to all of them individually. Every report is recorded and dealt with according to its priority. We are also unable to provide estimated time frames to resolve issues that have been reported.

Public Rights of Way include footpaths, bridle paths, restricted byways and byways open to all traffic.

You can report any problems with Public Rights of Way online. These include:

  • a bridge with missing deck planks
  • broken stiles
  • fallen trees
  • damaged or missing signs.

To report problems with pavements and tarmac footpaths use our road and pavement reporting service.

2 Our timescales

Please note: Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, our office-based staff are currently working remotely. We will continue to carry out high priority maintenance work. However, some of our other work areas may be restricted during this time.

We receive a large number of reports and cannot reply to all of them individually. Every report is recorded and dealt with according to its priority. We are also unable to provide estimated time frames to resolve issues that have been reported.

All reports received are logged and prioritised. We aim to inspect and address any problems reported to us within the timescales outlined below.

Health and safety 

If there is immediate/severe danger to the public, we will inspect and address the issue within two working days. This may involve a temporary closure while works are organised to make the route safe.

High priority 

If there is an obstruction, where no alternative route is available, we will investigate within 10 working days and take appropriate action.

Medium priority

If there is an obstruction or surfacing problem, where there is an alternative route available, or broken/missing signs, we will inspect as part of the routine 15 month inspection cycle.

Works will be completed as part of the routine maintenance or volunteer programmes. If the problem cannot be addressed as part of the routine maintenance programme (for example, where larger sections of surfacing are an issue) it will be prioritised against other issues in the county and considered for inclusion in our annual improvement programme.

Low priority

In case of minor obstructions, where there is an alternative route available, misleading signage or minor issues with stiles, we will inspect as part of the routine 15 month inspection cycle and will only addressed if resources permit.

Not a maintenance priority

Improvements to the network or addressing of unavailable paths will be progressed if an opportunity arises and resources permit.

3 Problems not covered by us

Please note: Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, our office-based staff are currently working remotely. We will continue to carry out high priority maintenance work. However, some of our other work areas may be restricted during this time.

We receive a large number of reports and cannot reply to all of them individually. Every report is recorded and dealt with according to its priority. We are also unable to provide estimated time frames to resolve issues that have been reported.

There are various problems that will not be dealt with by the County Council and include:

4 Report a problem

Please note: Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, our office-based staff are currently working remotely. We will continue to carry out high priority maintenance work. However, some of our other work areas may be restricted during this time or take a little longer than advertised to investigate.

We receive a large number of reports and cannot reply to all of them individually. Every report is recorded and dealt with according to its priority. We are also unable to provide estimated time frames to resolve issues that have been reported.

When reporting a problem, please provide as much information as possible. This should include:

  • a photo, where possible, to show the problem (Note: We can’t currently open '.heic' format files from Apple devices. If you can, please use another format.)
  • accurate location information which may include a combination of the following:
    • a map extract showing the location
    • a grid reference, latitude/longitude coordinates or What3words reference
    • the path number; this can be found on our iMap by following the instructions
    • the extent (length) of the affected area
  • details of what is causing the problem, for example:
    • vegetation - Is vegetation from the surface or side of the path? If from the side, please identify which side it comes from so we can contact the correct landowner
    • details about any problem structure, including the type and material, for example:
      • timber fingerpost
      • metal bridge about 4m long
      • timber stile
    • What is the problem?
    • What effect does it have on use of the path, for example, is it totally impassable or usable with care?
Report a problem with a Right of Way (external link)

Be aware that we do not monitor online reports at weekends or during bank holidays.

Last updated:
8 September 2021
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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.