A BHS campaign to give riders in the borough of Hertsmere, Herts, some off-road riding has paid off.

The last stretch of a three-quarter mile ride has just been opened by the High Sheriff ofHertfordshire, Christopher Laing.

The final part was a 200 yard-wooded area, known as Allum Lane Spinney in Elstree, which has been made wider for riders, cyclists and walkers. This leads into council-owned parkland.

, Phil Wadey, the BHS’s regional officer for the east of England, says: “Three years ago, we persuaded Hertsmere Borough Council that the roads in the area were dangerous – there were three fatalities in 1997.

“After a pilot scheme which was successful, the council agreed to make it permanent.

“We had fantastic support from council officers, part funding from the Countryside Agency and support through the Greenways project and the Watling Chase Community Forest.”

Phil says the key to getting the plan approved was that it was a local-based campaign where riders who had had problems on the road wrote to their councillors.

“It’s also a good idea to contact leisure departments in councils. Providing bridleways is quite a cheap way of giving people leisure opportunities. And in this area, the number of riders is twice the national average, ” says Phil.

Hertsmere council is now committed to extending the bridlways north.