How does a route become a right of way?

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To be a right of way, a route must meet all the following conditions:
· It must join two public places (e.g. public roads or other rights of way); and
· It must follow a more or less defined route; and
· It must have been used, openly and peaceably, by the general public, as a matter of right, i.e. not just with the permission of the landowner; and
· It must have been used without substantial interruption for at least 20 years.

Rights of way form part of the Common Law of Scotland. ScotWays works with local authorities and local communities to determine whether routes meet the above conditions, as interpretation of the law can be contentious. Ultimately, if it is not agreed that a route meets the necessary conditions to be a right of way, it is up to the courts to decide whether the criteria are met.