Public Rights of Way

Current Closures

Public Rights of Way Path Temporary Closure Notice

Details of roads (tarmacked carriageway and footways/pavements) closed temporarily for repair/maintenance can be found on the Islands Roads website.

Covid-19 and Public Rights of Way

Please note NO public Rights of Way are closed because of concerns for Covid-19 contamination / transfer. 

The risk of the coronavirus being passed on to others from people using public rights of way and other paths and trails is considered to be very low as long as people follow the Government’s instructions to maintain social distancing.  

Landowners do not have the legal right to block or obstruct public rights of way. However, in very limited circumstances where large numbers of people are using such routes, landowners may consider the following measures:

  • Tying gates open if it is safe to do so, so that walkers do not need to touch the gate.                     
  • Temporarily displaying polite notices that encourage users to respect local residents and workers by following social distancing guidelines and consider using alternative routes that do not pass through gardens, farmyards or schools.  Note: this is a polite request only, and there is no power under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 for landowners to close or obstruct a public right of way  
  • Landowners can use the following posters (PDF 1 page, 96Kb) as a polite reminder, if they are observing inconsiderate behaviour: home, farmstable   
  • Offering an alternative route around gardens and farmyards only where it is safe to do so (you must gain permission from relevant landowners and make sure the route is safe for users and livestock) provided that the original right of way is maintained.

Key points to Note under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW)

  • Under Section 39 of CROW it is an offence to fail to comply with an order of the Magistrate’s Court to remove an obstruction. So a landowner must not obstruct any right of way.
  • It is an offence under section 14 of CROW to display a notice that contains “any false or misleading information likely to deter the public from exercising” a right of way.
  • Land owners may be liable for personal injury under section 13 (6C) of CROW if they are reckless or intend to create a risk – for example by offering a dangerous alternative.

This means that

  • If a land owner offers an alternative route, they must ensure that it is safe to use and that the existing right of way is maintained so that users with differing abilities have a choice.
  • A notice must not imply that there is any doubt about the use of the existing right of way.  

These temporary measures must be lifted as soon as social distancing measures are relaxed.

How to temporarily close a public right of way

If you wish to apply to temporarily close a public right of way in order to undertake works on or near the path you will need to contact the Public Rights of Way service to discuss the closure.  Please contact the service by email rightsofway@iow.gov.uk or if it is an immediate emergency due to unforeseen safety reasons call 01983 821000 (9am to 5pm weekdays). 

There is a process to follow which will includes:

  • The completion of a formal application form;
  • Payment of a fee;
  • You or your contractor will need to install and maintain the on site notices, closure signs and  / or barriers for the duration of the works.    

The Tennyson Trail - Byways permanently closed to motor vehicles

This is a series of Byways that are permanently closed to vehicles from Carisbrooke to Freshwater Bay (Public Byways N123, N128, N136A, N139, BS4, BS10, BS44, S26, BS53, F33).  They are permanently closed to vehicles pursuant to The Isle of Wight Council (Tennyson Trail, IW (Prohibition of Driving) Order No 1 2006.)   See a map of the closed route (PDF, 3.47MB, 1page)

Permit scheme for blue badge holders

A permit scheme is available to blue badge holders, licensed hackney carriages (taxis) and community vehicles between 1 April and 30 September annually. 

Application Process

  • To apply for a permit please download and complete the application form. (PDF, 4 pages, 33KB). 
  • Please include a photocopy of your blue badge permit with your completed application form.
  • Send the completed application form to: Public Rights of Way, County Hall, High Street, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 1UD or email a copy of the completed form to rightsofway@iow.gov.uk

For further information or guidance please contact Public Rights of Way by completing the online send a message to service form, alternatively find our contact details in the 'Contact' tab above 

Closures effecting walkers, horse riders and cyclists : 

Bembridge

Public Footpath BB7 (part):  Closed between the bottom of the beach access steps at the end of Swains Road for approx. 170m to the southeast.  This is due to a landslip.  The alternative route will be on the beach.  Map of the closed section (PDF, 1 page, 2.31Mb)

Public Footpath BB10 (part of the coastal path) :  Closed between Forelands Field Road and Public Footpath BB14 closed on Monday 30 December 2019, because of a landslip.  To bypass this section please use Forelands Field Road. Howgate Road, and Public Footpath BB14.  Map of the closed section (PDF, 3.03Mb, 1 page) 

Brighstone

Part of Public Footpath BS103 (Brook beach access ramp) has been closed Thursday 5 March 2020 as land slippage has made the ramp to the beach unsafe.  During the closure there is no alternative route.  Map of the closured section (PDF, 1 page, 1.79 Mb)

Chale

Public Footpath C34 (path/steps in Whale Chine to the beach) is permanently closed pursuant to a Traffic Regulation Order due to ongoing landslips. No alternative route.  View a map of the closed section (PDF, 98.8MB, 1 page). 

Gurnard

The coastal path (CB24 / CS16/CS17) between Rew Street, Gurnard and Sticelett has been closed because of multiple landslips with the path gone or hard up against the fence.  During the closure the alternative route will be Rew Street (road walking), then Footpaths CS3, CB23, CB1 & CB29 

Newchurch

Public Footpath NC11 part of this path will be closed from Wednesday 8 July to Tuesday 14 July 2020 (not including the weekend) to allow tree works to take place, this tree work is being carried out by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to unsafe Ash trees which have Ash Dieback disease.  It is anticipated that after 5pm each evening when works have finished for the day the path can be reopened.  There will be no though route between Newchurch Shute and the cycle track when work is in progress and no access from Public Footpath NC46 or the permissive paths from the church down to NC11.  Whist the closure is in force the alternative route will be the cycle track.  View a map of the closed section (PDF 1 page, 3.17Mb)

Niton

The following Footpaths NT47,48,49,50 & 51 are permanently closed under a Traffic Regulation Order because they are unsafe to use because of land slippage.  The paths will remain on the definitive map and will be periodically inspected in case of any changes to the land which would allow reinstatement.  

Public Footpath NT47 (Reeth Bay): closed between its junctions with Public Footpath NT42 and NT49.  No alternative route.  Please view a map of the closed section .(PDF, 2.43MB, 1 page).

Public Footpath NT48 (Puckaster): closed from a point 233 metres south of St. Catherine’s Road to its junction with Public Footpath NT49.  No alternative route.  Please view a map of the closed section .(PDF, 2.43MB, 1 page).

Public Footpath NT49 (Puckaster): closed between its junctions with Public Footpaths NT47 and NT50.  No alternative route  Please view a map of the closed section .(PDF, 2.35MB, 1 page).

Public Footpath NT50 (Puckaster): closed between its junctions with A3055 Undercliff Drive and Public Footpath NT51.  No alternative route.  Please view a map of the closed section .(PDF, 2.35MB, 1 page).

Public Footpath NT51 (Binnel Bay): closed between its junctions with Public Footpaths V99 and NT49.  No alternative route.  Please view a map of the closed section .(PDF, 2.27MB, 1 page).

Shanklin / Luccombe

Public Footpath SS3 (Luccombe Chine) is permanently closed pursuant to a Traffic Regulation Order from its junction with Public Footpath SS2 to the beach. This is because of land slippage. The path will remain on the definitive map and will be periodically inspected in case of any changes to the land which would allow reinstatement. Please view a map of the closed section .(PDF, 2.07MB, 1 page). 

Totland

Public Footpath T6 (part) is closed from Thursday 10th October 2019 until mid April 2021 in order that that a house can be constructed as per planning application TCP/33657, P/01242/18.  The closed section runs between Summers Court and Summers Lane.  The diversion route will be Court Road and Summers Lane.  An application is to be made by the developer to divert part of Public Footpath T6 and this will be dealt with by the Rights of Way team.  View a map of the closed part of the path   (PDF 1 page, 1.69Mb)

Public Footpath T16 (part) has been closed since January 2020 because of a landslip in the section between Cliff Road and its junction with T17.  The diversion route will be Cliff Road and Public Footpath T17.  The landslip is being monitored and if this stabilises we will then be able to see a new path can be created around it.  View a map of the closed section. (PDF 1  page, 1.69Mb)

Ventnor / Wroxall

Steps between St Johns Road, Wroxall & Bridleway V131 - have been closed 5th June 2020 as they have become unsafe.  The alternative route for pedestrians will be St Johns Road, Castle Road and Yarborough Road.

Public Footpath V124 has been closed between its junctions with Undercliff Drive and Public Footpaths NT51 and V99 at Binnel Bay because of a landslip. Please view a map of the closed section .(PDF, 1.91MB, 1 page).