Temporary closure of a public right of way

Rights of way should always be open and available for the public to use but there are times when Suffolk County Council will close them for short periods. Rights of way must not be closed or restricted without our consent.

SCC may close a right of way if:-

Works are proposed to be carried out on or near the right of way.

There is a potential danger to the public or serious damage to the right of way.

It is needed for litter clearing or cleaning.

Suffolk County Council can authorise the closure of a right of way, or part of a right of way, for up to 6 months using a legal order. We maintain a register of all current temporary public right of way closures which can be opened by following this link to the Temporary Closures Register.

If a longer closure is needed, then an application has to be made to the Secretary of State for the Environment for an extension. This application must be made in good time before the initial closure period has expired and there will be an additional charge. Please follow this link for guidance on applying for a temporary closure of a public right of way. 

If you wish to carry out work on a public right of way and this involves having to close the right of way, then you must get permission from Suffolk County Council (the Highway Authority) for the works as well as the closure.  Altering the surface of the right of way, for example by laying stone or tarmac or the rebuilding of river walls, are the most common types of work requiring permission. Please follow this link to download information and an application form to carry out work on a public right of way. 

For other closures and also in an emergency situation, a public right of way can be closed using an emergency closure notice. This notice allows a route to be closed for a period between 5 and 21 days. Please follow this link to download a closure application form