A disagreement between Oxford’s riding community and the car manufacturing company, BMW, has erupted in Oxford over BMW’s proposal to close part of the ancient bridleway.

The bridleway, called Roman Way, runs across BMW’s works outside Oxford. It is the main route for riders, cyclists and pedestrians from the city into Shotover Country Park.

While BMW is planning to provide alternative routes for pedestrians and cyclists, no provision has been made for riders: a real blow for riders from East Oxford who will be forced to box their horses to the park if the case goes through.

The British Horse Society, the Oxford Area Bridleways Association, as well as the Ramblers’ Association and several independent witnesses have raised an objection to the closure (under Section 116 of the 1980 Highways Act) and the case went to court in July.

But, the case over-ran the scheduled five-day period and it has been adjourned until 8 October.

If you ride the Roman Way or you have had experience of contesting a bridleway closure application under Section 116 of the 1980 Highways Act please contact Troth Wells, BHS Assistant Access Officer, Oxford (tel: 07746 185482) or email: trothw@newint.org