Q&As

Is it possible for a right of way to fall out of use and be declassified as a public footpath? Secondly, is it possible to apply to the local authority to stop up a public footpath if it is never used?

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Published on LexisPSL on 18/01/2019

The following Local Government Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is it possible for a right of way to fall out of use and be declassified as a public footpath? Secondly, is it possible to apply to the local authority to stop up a public footpath if it is never used?
  • Can right of way fall out of use and be declassified as a public footpath?
  • Can an application be made to a local authority to extinguish a path?

Is it possible for a right of way to fall out of use and be declassified as a public footpath? Secondly, is it possible to apply to the local authority to stop up a public footpath if it is never used?

Can right of way fall out of use and be declassified as a public footpath?

Whether the dedication is express or inferred, a highway is created when a competent landowner:

  1. either dedicates some land as a highway, or

  2. is deemed to have dedicated some land as a highway, and

  3. that dedication (or deemed dedication) is accepted by or on behalf of the public

The way in which the public acquires highway rights upon deemed dedication is by repeated use of the route as a highway, without secrecy, without force and without the landowner’s

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