The Branch Line Society

Railway Rights of Way

Interpreting the lists; order of sequence on entries; miscellanea

Tabulated information is divided up into the countries of the British Isles and then mostly subdivided into 1974/5 counties or the appropriate local equivalent. Within each county, region etc., from left to right the information is listed in five columns as follows:

  1. An abbreviation code showing FP, CP, HP, R, OS respectively representing Footpath, Cycle Path, Bridleway, Road or Open Space.
  2. The name of the footpath etc., if any, or the A or B number of the road listed.
  3. The originating and terminating points of the path or highway, with identifying name as per Ordnance Survey map, and 1 inch to 1 mile map references where available.
  4. The distance, to the nearest quarter mile.
  5. The Pre-Grouping railway company formerly owning the route listed.

A footpath is interpreted as either a public footpath as of right, or a concessionary footpath not designated as a public right of way but one on which the public are nevertheless specifically granted unrestricted access. Several of the longer paths come into this latter category. All routes, except the few motorway sections, have pedestrian access. The small number of motorway sections on former railway trackbeds are, of course, restricted solely to those categories of road users permitted under the general regulations governing motorway use and access. Not all the paths which are shown as either cycle paths or bridleways as well as pedestrians paths, are necessarily permitted to cyclists or equestrians throughout their length.

All currently known sections of disused railway once owned by a former public railway company are listed, and also sections of mineral tramroad or industrial railway, where known. The latter information is, though, more patchy than one would wish. Former purely street tramway systems are not generally listed, since almost all of these were laid almost entirely on the existing public highway. (However, information is sought on municipal and other urban former electric tramway lines where the track was not laid on the public highway but on private reservations which have never become part of the public highway - particularly where these run cross-country).

It is hoped that readers of this publication will forward information, preferably in the format shown in the lists, to the compiler in order that this publication can be kept up to date and amendments published from time to time.

Edition 2.7 - 29 June 2014