Planning for paths

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Before getting too heavily involved in the design and construction of your path network it is worth considering a few key issues that will affect your overall management approach. This section is designed to give you an overview and point you towards more specific information. Even if you have been involved with paths for many years, it is still useful to take a 'strategic look' at the network from the outset.

The long term task of keeping your paths in a 'fit for purpose' condition should be at the centre of your thinking. Planning and designing your paths with this in mind and you should be able to minimise the overall costs of providing a path network. By taking account of the whole life costs of the path you might decide to use a low cost specification that requires regular maintenance or it might be necessary to spend most of your overall budget on a high cost specification and low maintenance option.

The following sections cover a range of issues that you need to consider at the early stages of any path project, and the different types of survey used to gather information about paths or networks, which will help to make important decisions:

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