Campaign to increase riders’ access

  • Riders in north Wales are campaigning for better access to footpaths and cycle routes for horses in the area.

    More than 200 people have signed a petition in support so far.

    The law states that riders and carriage drivers are only allowed on bridleways, byways and some restricted bridleways.

    But Loz Hanson, who has petitioned the Department of Transport, believes the area’s roads are too dangerous and fears it is only a matter of time before a near-miss becomes an accident.

    She said: “I set up the petition to try and raise awareness of the fact that more attention needs to be paid to riders out hacking. Some places in Flintshire have good off-road riding, but in towns the access to bridlepaths is very limited, if any at all.

    “There are many public footpaths that would be suitable, but we are not allowed on them. I hope to achieve more off-road access for riders so we do not have to ride on the roads as much.”

    According to the British Horse Society the issue reflects a national problem. Director of access, Mark Weston, said: “We are constantly campaigning and lobbying for the rights of access for riders.

    “When you are in a minority group, getting your voice heard can be hard, but riders across the country need to talk to their MPs, their local council and access groups to get more multi-use access routes opened to them where possible. That is the only way things will change.

    “We all need to lobby and make the plight of the horse rider known, because if we don’t, the rights of horse and rider will soon be forgotten.”

    To sign the petition visit: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/68374

    This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (6 October).

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