Local Access Forums perform a statutory function and all section 94(4) bodies are required under section 94(5) of the CROW Act 2000 to ‘have regard in carrying out their functions to any relevant advice given to them’ by a Forum. Reflecting the directives givento forums, the North Yorkshire LAF has drawn up a set of principles which nowunderpin their work and advice.
· Any new access should be at the highest rights practicable
· All rights of way should be maintained to the standard required and, where needed, upgraded physically and legally to a higher standard
· The Forum will work to see rights of way developed to redressthe fragmentation of the network, connect communities andimprove links to places of demand
· The Forum will work to developmore access opportunities to include the widest possible range of users, especially families, children, minority groups and the less able
· The Forum seeks the establishment of an annual budget to fundthe fulfilling of the Rights of Way Improvement Plan (RoWIP)
· Whilst the creation of all access is welcome, the Forum stresses that permissive (temporary) accessdoes not equate with the public benefit of definitive (permanent) access
· The Forum wishes to raise awareness of how different users can enjoy responsible sharing of routeswhere appropriate, whilst supporting challenges to illegal use
· The Forum recognisesthe establishment and challenges of new initiatives such as coastal access, access towater, access to woodland and the dedication of land for public access
The abovemay be summarised simply as:
The Forum seeks to maximise everyopportunityfor improved access, providing safer non-motorised journeys for the widest range of users practicable.
The Forum welcomes consultation from all section 94(4) bodies or others who feel they might benefit from discussion with them. For further information please contact the chair through the Secretary to the Forum - Melanie Carr, at North Yorkshire County Council either by telephone on 01609 533849 or by email at: Melnaie.firstname.lastname@example.org