A new crossing has made it safer for riders to cross a main road.
Forthcoming changes to Oxfordshire’s transport network will result in the once quiet slip road changing into a busy main route to the Science Vale, one of the county’s largest employment areas.
Riders have to cross the road to access miles of off-road hacking on the Ridgeway National Trail, but the increase in traffic would have made it “impassable”.
However, after successful lobbying of Oxfordshire County Council, a pegasus crossing — which is specifically designed for horses and riders — has been installed.
Vivienne Schuddeboom, the proprietor of BHS-approved Silvertown Stables, said they have been accessing off-road routes via Holloway Track, a restricted byway that crosses the road, for more than 60 years.
“The increase in traffic would have made the A34 impassable and therefore detrimental to my business,” she said. “With the new pegasus crossing installed I can continue offering hacks out from my stables.”
British Horse Society (BHS) volunteers Troth Wells and Janice Bridger worked with riders Jane Imbush (pictured), Jackie Gillan and Julian Ross to convince the council that a crossing was needed.
Cllr David Nimmo Smith, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “The crossing wasn’t in the original plans, but I am pleased that we were able to keep talking to representatives of the BHS and local equestrians to come up with a solution that worked for everyone.”
The BHS has also welcomed the result.
Ms Bridger said the group is are “delighted” to have worked with the council to deliver an equestrian-friendly crossing.
“The Holloway Route joins a vast network of equestrian routes so to lose it would have been such a blow for riders in the area,” she added.
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Mark Weston, BHS director of access and rights of way, said the continued urbanisaton of the countryside makes it “imperative” that equestrians are included on proposed safe, off-road routes, and that crossings also cater for riders.
“The inclusion of equestrians at this crossing is a testament that councils can work with user groups to create safe, accessible routes and the passage is afforded to all non-motorised users, including equestrians,” he said.