Andrew Lloyd Webber’s equine road safety fears

  • Music mogul Andrew Lloyd Webber has warned of the risk to horses and riders on roads near his Hampshire home.

    The superstar wrote of his concerns over the speed of traffic in a letter to Ecchinswell, Sydmonton and Bishops Green parish council, which was discussed at a meeting last week.

    Councillors heard the volume of traffic in the area had increased 10-fold since 2011.

    Parish council chairman Tim Hall said similar issues are raised “four or five times a month” by different residents.

    “This was one of a number of letters we get regularly about speed and quantity of traffic, which is inevitably a danger to all road users,” he told H&H.

    “Andrew Lloyd Webber has a lot of horses based with him so he has an interest in the danger the traffic poses to them.”

    Lady Lloyd-Webber, formerly Madeleine Gurdon (pictured above with her husband), finished second at Burghley in 1988 and competed at the world and European eventing championships in 1986 and 1985 respectively.

    She is now president of the Pony Club, owns Watership Down and Kiltinan Castle studs, where she breeds Flat racehorses, and is a director of Newbury racecourse.

    Mr Hall said the council would look into the issue but warned of its limited resources, adding that in general, trying to combat the traffic problem was like “screaming in a hurricane”.

    The British Horse Society (BHS) has received 2,000 reports of road accidents involving horses during the past five years.

    BHS director of safety Alan Hiscox said: “Lord Lloyd Webber is raising an important issue that horse riders face every day on our roads.

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    “These [statistics] are just the reported accidents that we receive — we believe the figures are much higher. In March, we launched our campaign, Dead or Dead Slow to educate drivers on road safety when passing a horse.

    “Riders should also wear high-visibility clothing at all times. We want this message to reach as many people as possible and save lives.”

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