Essex Area Ramblers

At the heart of walking in Essex

Stiles that are legally allowed limitations on Public Footpaths are shown by an "S" on definitive maps. Unfortunately, whilst the online Essex Highways Information Map, shows PRoWs it does NOT show stiles.

I have asked for stiles to be shown and have been told that this is not possible.

RAMBLERS POLICIES ON STILES - as stated in General Council Motions

From Eugene Suggett - Senior Policy Officer, Policy and Advocacy Team, Ramblers Central Office

(22 February 2018)

Eugene comments that… The most important of these is the one called British Standard on Gaps, Gates and Stiles (2002).  The British Standard is not legally binding or anything like that, but it gives recommendations for the most appropriate structure and tries to balance the needs of land management against the need for a more accessible path network for all users.

Step-stiles (1993 Ramblers General Council Motion)

This council calls on Areas and Groups to urge local authorities and landowners to replace the conventional step-stiles, which form a barrier to many walkers in the countryside, when they become due for replacement, by devices which would render footpaths passable by a much wider section of the public.

Access for less-able people to the countryside (1999 Ramblers General Council Motion)

Council applauds the work of the Countryside Access Group in seeking to establish a strategy for access to the countryside for mobility disabled people, underpinned by disability discrimination legislation. It fully supports the aspirations for access to much of the general network of footpaths and trails by disabled people, noting emphasis on protecting legitimate rights of landowners and avoidance of urbanisation of the countryside.

Council notes the following key objectives of the strategy:

 (a)  recognition of increasing use of rugged designs of wheelchairs, scooters and buggies;

 (b)  need for removal and/or design of stiles, kissing gates and where possible steps;

 (c)  acceptance that path surfaces should be largely left as found.

Council instructs EC [Executive Committee] to take into account the needs of disabled people in present thinking and future policy.

British Standard on Gaps, Gates and Stiles (2002 Ramblers General Council Motion)

This Council welcomes the publication of the British Standard 5709:2001 Gaps, Gates and Stiles as an important step towards achieving a more accessible path network.

Council resolves that the Association will seek, via Scottish and Welsh Councils, Areas and Groups, to have the principles of the Standard applied to all paths and routes used by walkers—whether or not public rights of way—by the end of 2007.

Inconvenient stiles (2005 Ramblers General Council Motion)

This General Council believes that at a time when more and more people are enjoying the benefits of rambling until later in life and the Ramblers is actively engaged in encouraging the provision of access to CRoW land, that the Executive Committee should use its best endeavours to persuade the local authorities to adopt a policy of requiring the provision of the least restrictive option, rather than stiles, on rights of way and access land.  This policy does not apply to stiles and other path furniture which are heritage landscape features, such as stone squeezer stiles in the Yorkshire Dales.

Katherine Evans, Essex Area Footpath Secretary

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