§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to extend and develop the network of bridleways in England.
§ Mr. Atkins
The Government have endorsed the target to ensure that the whole network of footpaths, bridleways and byways open to all traffic is properly maintained and recorded on definitive maps by the year 2000. The Secretary of State was also pleased recently to approve the Countryside Commission's proposals for the Pennine bridleway national trial.
Local authorities have powers to create bridleways by agreement or order. While the provision of facilities for specific recreational activities is a matter for local authorities to consider, planning policy guidance note 17 encourages them to include in local plans policies and proposals on the availability of rights of way.