What does the community think on Public Footpath markers from the UK?
PkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 3,978 Ambassador
Recently I’ve come across several live POI for Public Footpaths.
These aren’t named trails and are very very very common across the UK. As you can see below, they’re just a disc saying “Public Footpath” and maybe the name of the local council.
It’s not part of the same trail like say South West Coast Path or Lady Anne Way, but a group of unconnected, unnamed markers that just indicate where the public is allowed to walk. Unlike a named trail, you would find no information on a lot of public footpaths online. I don’t think they’re significant enough to meet any criteria myself but wanted to see what the consensus was.
I think these are extremely poor POI and it is frustrating that the Wayfarer review community have allowed standards to drop with the new Criteria. The whole point of the new Criteria was to give more autonomy to the Wayfarer community, but with this should have followed more personal stringency and each reviewer advocating for good quality portals.
Instead we have ended up with absolutely terrible nominations slipping through the net, one of the main culprits being Public Footpaths. According to Countryfile, England and Wales has 180,000 miles of public rights of way in its network. That is not unique enough at all to be classified as a wayspot.
Definitely don't meet criteria in my opinion. Same with public bridleway. It's just a sign letting you know that legally you can walk/ride a horse there. There must be at least hundreds of thousands of them in the UK, maybe even millions. They aren't interesting in the slightest and I thought the point of Wayspots is that they are Points of Interest - somewhere that someone (even if not you personally) would find interesting to visit.
When I first started playing Niantic games one of the appeals of the point of interest map was that each place on the map was a real life interesting location.
over time the map has become diluted and I feel responsible for my part in that but we need to try to limit the damage and keep the map interesting and unique instead of generic randomly generated points of interest
I really struggle to see how these things can be live, they are incredibly mass produced and don’t represent a named trail. We have hundreds of thousands of miles of public footpaths in the UK, and it wouldn’t be surprising if more than a million of these existed.
They are incredibly mass produced, don’t signify a named trail. They promote exercise as much as a generic street sign promotes exploration. An absolute 1*
What I worry about is, firstly people are losing agreements for rejecting these and people gaining agreements for passing these, but secondly people will see live wayspots like these and think they meet criteria and are acceptable submissions.
Niantic’s unwillingness to remove terrible submissions that should have never been accepted sometimes, really does them more harm than good. It’s really exhausting as someone who wants to fill the network with genuine points of interest that rubbish like that gets through and can’t be removed.
Personally, I'm not keen on them because they're not exactly trail markers, nor are they anything exciting or special.
I have seen some arguments from other submitters and reviewers that these "encourage exercise and exploration", which I suspect is how some have slipped through, but in essence they're nothing more than rural sign posts that point in a direction that people can walk without trespassing or having any legal issues come to bite them.
Edit: I've also seen arguments that because the new criteria apparently doesn't explicit say that it must be markers for named trails, that makes these okay to submit and approve. Personally I'm in disagreement with that idea since they're nothing special.
I'm also not keen on them, but as you say, the new criteria isn't as specific as the old criteria, and people are successfully taking advantage of this.
These footpaths, that's to do with Right to Ramble, am I right?
Not a fan of them, as others have said, it's just a footpath where UK people are allowed to walk freely and legally, they aren't part of a trail, they aren't anything specific or interesting, and should not be approved.
Secondly, Nia need to have a process to remove things that were approved that shouldn't of been approved to begin with, generally Nia only remove things if it's unsafe, prp or a school. They need to also have a removal for things that don't meet acceptance criteria, not because it's it's a school, but because it's just a generic doesn't meet criteria submission as a whole, no matter what it is, but this logic can also be applied to old legacy things brought in from either seed portals and grandfathered things (military bases hello Niantic lawsuit your welcome)
Lastly, we are all aware that /some/ groups will approve them because they're taught that MOAR is better and they'll approve literally anything if it benefits them and no in-line with the acceptance criteria.
If all of these footpath thing were eligible there would be pokestops n Portals everywhere, wouldn't be able to get away from the bleedin things unless you were in a school but even then someone will b daft n put em in a school anyway and get em accepted
Yeah I agree with the majority here, not very good portals. Admittedly, I could maybe see an argument if this is in the middle.of the country side and is a path that's used for exercise, but then that would be on the submitter to prove me wrong and even then it would be a 3/4 at a push. The majority though are usually at the edge of suburban areas or villages and not really do much from what I've found
I've been generally rating them 4* based on clarifications I've read here about trail markers.
With the clarifications which include an actual trailermarker name.
I'd give them the correct stars for acceptation but without name I wouldn't.
Name is not required since the AMA criteria clarifications from November.
The current criteria is so vague that it doesn't actually state if it needs a name or not, so it's not entirely accurate to say "name is not required".
The criteria now is either exploration, exercise, or socialisation. Arguments cam be made that the public footpath/Bridleway markers and sign posts meet the two criteria, being exploration and exercise, but it's a hard sell at best, since they're not trail markers - they're public footpath markers.
Ramblers UK has a page that points out the differences between some of the markers that can be found in the UK:
A public footpath isn't a trail though.
You replied to my reply about a person rejecting nominations for lack of name.
We need some first page news on new clarifications on wayfarer page itself instead of highlighted poi..
I don't see it on the criteria page even.
Thanks for clearing that up haven't reviewed in a while but good to know.
This is where the confusion and controversy sets in. A public footpath is a very defined thing in the UK. It does not exist in the US. I don't know enough to say if there are analogs in other places. In the US, 'footpath' doesn't have a legal definition and is essentially a synonym for hiking trail. So if you ask a person in the US if a public footpath is legit, they'll say yes because hiking trails are long established as legitimate. However, my understanding of the concept of a footpath is that it's closest analog in the US is a sidewalk(pavement), because those are pretty much the only public Right of Way that we have.
To be clear, I'm not for or against them, I'm just trying to clarify for folks who aren't familiar with the distinction and may be deeply confused.
Also, as I am going through some older posts about UK specific POI, if some of these are acceptable according to @NianticGiffard
What about these thousands of generic public footpath markers? Just want to be clear on Niantic’s view of what counts as generic.
Does it result in moar stopz? if so, not generic, 10* need moar stopz
Can't wait to submit the footpath sign that shows the route between the public toilets and the recycle bins.
You’re unlucky it’s not a dog **** bin 😉
didnt we have this discussion already? @NianticGiffard looks like we need your lock and key, thanks!
Just a find the "UK National Cycle Network" thread, replace "NCN Marker" with "UK Public footpath marker" and paste in here, all the same arguments will be trotted out.
Trail marker with name - Accept with the usual caveats over an accurate location and visual uniqueness etc.
Public Footpath / Public Bridleway / Permissive Path only plaques - 1* generic / not interesting - there are 1000s and 1000s of them. There are estimated to be 140,000 miles of public footpath in the UK, and you see these standard markers evey time to pass a fence line or a gate or a direction change.
Thanks for the active discussion folks! Pitching in to say, Trail signs should be on the trail/hiking area or it may contain trail names with the direction sign or with trail numbers. Having said that, the shared image is acceptable as it appears to be on the trail area.
Can you please be a little clearer? If there’s an arrow on a plastic disc that says “Public Footpath”, does that count as a trail name?
I am really hoping for a “No” here by the way, but I hoped for a clear “No” on the blue bike signs and postboxes.
It will be a generic direction sign if the direction sign is not on a trail area but on a road that is not connected with a trail name.
Thanks but that’s not clearer.
To make it simple:
The one I shared initially that just says “Public Footpath” and has an arrow and the two yellow markers in @sogNinjaman-ING ’s image. Eligible or not eligible, and why or why not?