OS 50K Symbols - Rights of Way and Access

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright May 2007, David Hawgood; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


This is one of a series of articles which give photographs of features on the ground which have standard symbols
on Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 maps, with map extracts showing the symbols. On the maps a blue circle is on or near
the symbol. Use the mouse to move the pointer over the blue circle on a map to hide it.
Click on a thumbnail to see a page with a larger photo, other photo details, and a larger section of the
1:50,000 Ordnance Survey map.
The article Ordnance Survey Map SymbolsExternal link
gives an introduction, and links to others in the set of articles.

Public rights of Way

Footpath


SU1178 : Footpath leading north, Salthrop, near Swindon
SU1178 : Footpath leading north, Salthrop, near Swindon by Brian Robert Marshall 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

Bridleway


SJ2131 : Horses on Llwybr Ceiriog bridleway
SJ2131 : Horses on Llwybr Ceiriog bridleway by Espresso Addict 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

Restricted byway


SP1616 : Restricted Byway to Clapton-on-the-Hill
SP1616 : Restricted Byway to Clapton-on-the-Hill by Philip Halling 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
(Note: these were changed from "Road used as a public path" with the same symbol, alternate dots and dashes, change of status shown in SU3564 : Sign of the times?
SU3564 : Sign of the times? by Graham Horn 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright)

Byway open to all traffic


SU0027 : By-Way descending Fovant Down
SU0027 : By-Way descending Fovant Down by michael ely 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

Firing and test ranges


(wording "Danger area" on map)
SP5713 : Rifle range butts on Otmoor
SP5713 : Rifle range butts on Otmoor by David Hawgood 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

Other Public Access

Other route with public access


SE6642 : ORPA (Other Route with Public Access)
SE6642 : ORPA (Other Route with Public Access) by Brian C Payne 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

Note on other routes with public access, and permissive paths

"Other routes with public access" are shown by red dots on 1:50,000 maps, and green dots on 1:25,000 maps with text "The exact nature of the rights on these routes and the restrictions may be checked with the local highway authority". Some are public vehicular highways, some are only available to pedestrians.
The 1:25,000 maps also have symbols for permissive routes; there are short orange dashes for "permitted footpath" and longer orange dashes for "permitted bridleway", with a note applying to both: "Footpaths and bridleways along which landowners have permitted public use but which are not rights of way. The agreement may be withdrawn". But these routes are only shown on 1:50,000 scale maps if they are also national trails, long distance routes, national or regional cycle network, or similar recreational routes.

It appears from examples on Geograph that most routes with red dots on 1:50,000 have green dots on 1:25,000, even if signs at the ends of the routes clearly show them as permissive. An example of a permissive path shown with short orange dashes on the 1:25,000 map is below - but in this case the 1:50,000 map shows it with red diamonds as a national trail - it is the Calderdale Way.

SE0521 : Trig point, Norland Moor
SE0521 : Trig point, Norland Moor by Mark Anderson 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

There are areas of England and Wales where the definitive map is not complete, so public footpaths and bridleways cannot be shown as such. The example below is in the Bradford area.

SE1629 : Odsal Wood
SE1629 : Odsal Wood by Paul Glazzard 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright


National Trail


SD9715 : Pennine Way
SD9715 : Pennine Way by John Illingworth 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
European Long Distance Route, Long Distance Route, Recreational Route have the same symbol. Note that the symbol is the red diamond - it may appear along a public footpath (as above), bridleway, road, or by itself as below.
NY6065 : Hadrian's Wall National Trail, near Birdoswald
NY6065 : Hadrian's Wall National Trail, near Birdoswald by Oliver Dixon 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

National/Regional Cycle Network


The symbols for these changed in September 2007. Before that all of them had filled-in green circles along the route, surfaced cycle routes (not on public roads) also had a line of green dashes. After that the cycle networks on public roads have filled-in green circles, but traffic-free cycle routes have hollow green circles. On Geograph we have available a 2006 set of maps, and a 2008 set of maps, and examples below show the differences.
Note that maps are not all updated at once, so an online map from Get-a-map or similar may still show the "old" symbols.

On road cycle route

NJ6956 : Bogbraes, cottage by Dunlugas For this part of the route the symbol is the same before and after Sept 2007
NJ6956 : Bogbraes, cottage by Dunlugas by David Hawgood 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
The symbol is the line of green circles - before Sept 2007 they may be along a public road or bridleway, or private track, or by themselves. After Sept 2007 on public roads.

Surfaced cycle route


SP7803 : Cycle track, formerly railway, Princes Risborough to Thame
SP7803 : Cycle track, formerly railway, Princes Risborough to Thame by David Hawgood 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright2006 map 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright 2008 map
The 2006 map has dashes between the green blobs to show it is a surfaced cycleway. The 2008 map has green circles to show it is an off-road cycleway, and does not indicate whether it is surfaced.

Off-road cycle route - unsurfaced

SU9278 : Thames Valley Cycle Route by Eton rowing lake This is not on a public right of way or track.
SU9278 : Thames Valley Cycle Route by Eton rowing lake by David Hawgood 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright 2008 map

SO1563 : Flanks of Cowlod This is on a public right of way.
SO1563 : Flanks of Cowlod by Richard Webb 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright 2008 map


Number for National Cycle Network


SU2069 : Trackbed of former Midland and South Western Junction Railway looking south
SU2069 : Trackbed of former Midland and South Western Junction Railway looking south by Brian Robert Marshall 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

Number for Regional Cycle Network


SP5912 : Horton-cum-Studley green
SP5912 : Horton-cum-Studley green by David Hawgood 1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright


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