Public Rights of Way register

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​​The definitive map is the legal record of all Public Rights of Way - footpaths, bridleways, byways and restricted byways. Changes to the definitive map can only be made by a legal order​​​

Register of applications to modify the definitive map - Section 53 Register​

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 states that the Council must provide a register of definitive map modification orders.  ​

There are three types of definitive map modification orders :

  • adding a Public Right of Way to the definitive map
  • deleting the Public Right of Way from the definitive map
  • upgrading or downgrading the status of a Public Right of Way for example footpath to bridleway 

We have a system of prioritising definitive map modification orders based on certain criteria. Those applications that are considered a high priority will be processed immediately. The categories are:


  • Incomplete application
  • Minimum benefit to the network
  • Route not under threat of closure


  • Partially complete application
  • Some benefit to the network
  • Landowner challenging the existence of a Public Right of Way


  • Complete application
  • Considerable benefit to the network
  • Route under serious threat, for instance, planning application

Register of applications to modify the definiti​ve ma​p​

Changing the route of a ​public right of way

It may be necessary to change the route of a public right of way, for example to allow a development to go ahead. Landowners and developers can apply to have paths diverted, usually under the Highways Act 1980 or Town and Country Planning Act 1990. If the legal criteria are met the Council can make the appropriate order to divert, stop-up and create paths.

You can view the proposed changes, where a legal order had been made, on the public rights of way mapping. 

You can see a paper copy of the section 53 register or the proposed changes register, free of charge, between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday at the Customer Access Point, Wakefield One, Burton Street, Wakefield, WF1 2DD

If you have any queries regarding the registers or the definitive map please contact the Public Rights of Way Team.​

Contact us

Public Rights of Way

Wakefield One
PO Box 700
Burton Street

0345 8 506 506