Physical Access Standards

National standards for full accessibility have been developed to meet the needs of users. These are minimum standards and are based on performance specifications, enabling you to use a method of construction and surface, which is appropriate and sympathetic to the location.

If your path meets these standards then you can promote them using the international symbol for disability and register them as Millennium Miles

The standards are based on the countryside setting and people’s expectation. People expect better paths near towns and facilities than they do in open country or wild land where they expect to experience a greater challenge, to meet fewer people, to be more independent and to see a more natural environment.

Follow the scoring system to determine which setting you should use.

If the path is a long linear route it may incorporate more than one setting as it moves away from urban areas into the wider countryside.

Scoring system for choosing setting

Feature Expectation Criteria Score
Visitor centre, encouraging or helping people enjoy the countryside More chance of meeting other people.Evidence of management.

Less challenge or risk

Visitor centre less than 500m away

+10

Visitor centre between 500m and 1000m away

+5

Parking areas of 20 spaces or more(including lay-bys and roadside parking) More chance of meeting other people.Less naturalness. Parking area less than 500m away

+8

Parking area between 500m and 1000m away

+4

Parking areas of 20 spaces or less(including lay-bys and road-side parking) Parking area less than 500m away

+6

Parking area between 500m and 1000m away

+3

How the land lies More naturalness.Greater challenge or risk Steepest slope of ground on which the path lies greater than 1:6

-3

Habitation Less naturalness.More chance of meeting other people. Group of at least 100 buildings within 1000m

+8

Group of at least 25 buildings within 500m

+6

Group of at least 25 buildings within 500m and 1000m

+3

Character of path Some naturalness.Management.

Need to rely on yourself more.

Path surface tarmac or concrete

+2

Path surface not constructed

(earth trodden by use, or across open ground)

-4

Public transport point More chance of meeting other people.

Need to rely on yourself more.

Bus stop, station etc. within 1000m

+5

Scoring for table
Score Setting
More than 20 Urban and formal
15 to 22 Urban fringe and managed
10 to 17 Rural and working
Less than 10 Open country, semi wild and wild land (use Rural standard)

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