It’s official: the loss of PROWs make you fatter

Americans who live in cul-de-sacs are around 2.7 kg (6lbs) fatter than those living elsewhere, according to Wikipedia. The reason: they have to use their cars more.

Expect the average Herefordian to gain weight as more traditional public rights of way (let’s abbreviate to PROW) are nicked. Every time a PROW closes the citizenry have to walk further – or jump in the car.

Take Maylord Orchards. You could wander through from Blueschool Street until the shopping complex was acquired by DRE in 2007. The old entrance way is now gated – and closed to pedestrians.

The same fate attended a Bath Street PROW joining Gaol Street and following the course of an old road past the police station. West Mercia revamped the station and hey presto! No PROW.

The latest lock-out comes courtesy of the Church Commissioners who fenced off two traditional PROWs on Bartonsham Meadows in St James.

Trouble is, say the Commissioners, the Bartonsham paths are not official PROWs: they don’t appear on the Definitive Map. The map was drawn up in the mid 1970s when parish were asked to register the PROWs on their patch.

Some councils, heavily represented by the land owner or his lackies, conveniently left paths unrecorded. Other PROWs, such as Bartonsham’s, seemed so blindingly obvious they went unregistered.

And it’s not simply an urban issue: check out the Hereford/Ross OS map 189 and marvel at the absence of PROWs passing through the Whitefield estate, just south of Kingstone. A happy accident for the land owners?

Note: problems with PROWs left off the Definitive Map should be reported to Amey’s “Definitive Map Modification officer”: 01432 842126.

Coe Jones

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