The proposed creation of new public footpaths and bridleways is covered by the Public Paths Orders Regulations 1993, as set out in the answer given to the hon. Member for Colchester on 12 March 2007, Official Report, column 152-3W.
There are three ways of creating new cycle tracks:
(a) New cycle tracks can be created under powers in section 24(2) of the Highways Act 1980. Planning permission is usually required for this.
(b) Cycle tracks can be created by converting an existing footpath, or part of a footpath, by an order made under the Cycle Tracks Act 1984, to which the Cycle Tracks Regulations 1984 apply. These require consultation with one or more organisations representing persons using the footpath, any local authority, parish council or community council whose area the footpath is situated, statutory undertakers and the local police.
(c) Cycle tracks can also be created by converting part of the footway (the pavement adjacent to a road) by an order under the Highways Act 1980. There are no statutory procedures for footway conversions, but proposals are advertised by site notices and notices in local newspapers, following the appropriate council resolution.
Advice on the conversion of footpaths and footways is contained in Local Transport Note 2/86 “Shared Use by Cyclists and Pedestrians” and advice on the establishment of new cycle tracks is to be found in Local Transport Note 1/89 “Making Way for Cyclists”, which also provides advice on footway conversion notices.