In memory of Angel: riders unite in battle for safer roads

  • A road safety campaign launched after a horse was fatally injured is gathering momentum.

    In recent years several collisions involving horses have taken place on Larkhill Road in Canewdon, Essex.

    Two riders have been taken to hospital and six horses injured.

    Laura Thorogood’s mare, Angel, (pictured below) had to be put down due to the severity of her injuries after being hit by a car on the stretch of road (17 November).

    Local riders Claire Lilly and Dawn Mander formed Canewdons Equestrian campaign group to allow riders to discuss the issue.

    The group has been appealing for the speed limit to be reduced to from 60mph to 40mph on on Larkhill Road, as well as vehicle-activated speed signs on blind bends and the cutting back of hedges to improve visibility.

    Since the launch of the campaign, the matter has been discussed at parish council meetings where it gained the support of the Southend Wheelers Cycle Club, Rochford and Castle Point Rambling Group and district councillor George Ioannou.

    The British Horse Society’s director of safety Alan Hiscox visited the site and write a letter to Essex County Council supporting requests for a speed reduction.

    Canewdons Equestrian also organised a ride in through the village to raise awareness and gather signatures for a petition calling for the changes to the road on 11 December.

    More than 400 people signed the petition that day.

    “It confirmed our campaign was tremendously well supported through Canewdon village, although ironically disaster nearly struck as the riders were overtaken by a driver on a double blind bend,” Ms Lilly told H&H.

    “Fortunately no other vehicle was approaching from the other direction.

    “This highlighted just how badly this road needs the safety measures we are calling for.

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    “We have taken steps to canvass every single resident in the parish, calling door-to-door asking residents to write to the highways liaison officer to show their support for the campaign.

    “All of these letters will be presented with the official scheme request that is being prepared by Canewdon Parish Council and councillor Ioannou.”

    All the letters have also been presented to local MP Mark Francois, who will write a letter of support to Eddie Johnson, cabinet member for highways and transportation.

    “We have every confidence our Larkhill campaign will be successful and hope it encourages others to campaign to make their roads safer,” added Ms Lilly.

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