Public rights of way

What is a public right of way/highway?

  • A highway is a road or path on which the public have a right of way (right to travel along).
  • A public footpath is a highway on which the public have a right of way by foot only and which is not attached to a carriageway
  • A bridleway is a highway on which the public have a right of way by foot, cycle or horse

Can I check if a path is a public right of way?

As an Inner London authority the London Borough of Tower Hamlets is not required to keep a Definitive Map of public rights of way.

All highways in Tower Hamlets, for which we are the highway authority, and therefore responsible for the maintenance of, are outlined in red on our highway register. They are outlined in green if Transport for London are the relevant highway authority. Roads which are not outlined are private roads. Some of them will be estate roads and therefore maintained by the relevant housing association or similar.

If you contact us about the status of any highway, including footpath, then we can consult the register and advise you of the status as described above.  A fee will be charged if you want written confirmation.

Public rights of way: enforcement

The council can take enforcement action over unauthorised obstructions of a public highway. Please contact us to report an obstruction.


How to contact us

Mulberry Place (AH)
PO Box 55739
5 Clove Crescent
E14 1BY

Tel: 020 7364 5000