A unique bespoke crossing in Berkshire will help racehorses and riders cross a busy road in safety, it is hoped.
West Berkshire Council and Lambourn Parish Council have worked with Jockey Club Estates and Westcotec Traffic Safety Systems to design, manufacture and install the system, which is designed to alert drivers to the horses’ presence.
The £20,000 crossing was installed on Upper Lambourn Road in response to concerns about the safety of horses being ridden to and from gallops.
West Berkshire Council road safety officers initially reduced the speed limit in the area concerned to 30mph.
They then wanted to install a road warning system but as nothing similar existed, the officers worked with Westcotec to design flashing warning signs.
These can be used between 6am and 12.30pm, when most horses are being ridden to and from the gallops, and can be activated by riders from either side of the road.
Once a toggle switch is flicked, lights flash for 60 seconds. It can be activated multiple times when groups of horses are crossing the road.
Councillor Graham Jones, deputy leader of West Berkshire Council, said: “I’m pleased that we have been able to install this crossing and help ensure riders are as safe as they can be crossing a busy road.
“The initial feedback from the trainers and riders is very positive but we will be monitoring it to gauge its effectiveness over time.”
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Chris Spinks from Westcotec said: “We are always delighted to be given an opportunity to innovate in responding to a customer’s request.
“This scheme had a specific requirement and as there was no off-the-shelf product available we used our experience in traffic safety systems design and manufacture and provided the solution which I’m pleased to say our customer is delighted with.”