A new British Horse Society (BHS) mapping tool that helps riders find and share information on suitable routes is aimed at improving access, and ensuring equestrians are “not the forgotten vulnerable road user”.
The DobbinData tool will gather data on equestrians’ use of routes, such as tarmacked roads that are not slippery, railway crossings and road bridges, commons, forestry and shared-use trails, such as former railways.
The information gathered will be important for the BHS to use when it is lobbying for change, or putting forward proposals for new plans, to help ensure “equestrian inclusion and user-friendly features”.
BHS director of access Mark Weston told H&H that features on public rights of way, roads and other routes do not always cater for equestrians.
“We have many examples of this across the country relating to railway crossings, routes alongside railways, motorway bridges, shared use trails and more,” he said.
Riders can report any problems with a road or off-road user, slippery road surfaces, dogs, low-flying aircraft, nuisance drones or
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“We constantly work to correct this because the needs of equestrians are often forgotten about when such schemes are being implemented. It is often not understood that little, if anything, may be needed so that equestrians can be included, but to do this we need data to help provide the necessary evidence.”
The information provided to the tool will give the BHS many more examples of where access has been provided.
“We encourage everyone to input the requested information; the more information we have the more we can support equestrians so that we are not the forgotten vulnerable road user,” Mr Weston said.
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