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Says Naomi Smith

Says Naomi SmithIt is all too possible to round a corner on horseback and come upon a group of cattle with no prior warning -this WILL result in a horse being badly spooked at best, bolting at worst -it is only a matter of time ........... read more

Horse riders raise concerns after tarmacking of bridleway

Horse riders raise concerns after tarmacking of bridleway

A member of the British Horse Society (BHS) has hit out at Forest Heath District Council after the tarmacking of a Mildenhall bridleway has left horse riders 'confined' to a small grass verge.

Alison Balfour-Lynn, BHS Regional Access & Bridleways Officer for the Eastern Region, claimed the new cycleway on Mildenhall Bridleway 1 has not been laid as promised and now encroaches on the bridleway, disadvantaging riders.

She also raised concerns about inappropriate signage to cyclists on the path, which Suffolk County Council has agreed to change in response to complaints.

Horse riders raise concerns after tarmacking of bridleway Ms Balfour-Lynn said: "I do not think I am overstating if I say I think we have been lied to and fobbed off with empty promises, that there was never any intention to be carried out.

"Horse riders are now confined to a rough 1m wide grass verge, that is in places cambered and scattered with large loose stones."

Of the new signage Ms Balfour-Lynn said: "The sign asking cyclists to ring their bells when approaching other path users is simply ridiculous!

"These signs must come down immediately before there is a serious accident."

In a statement about the signs Suffolk County Council said: "There is no legal requirement for signage on bridleways stating that cyclists must give way and experience from other areas has shown that signs asking cyclists to alert other users to their presence have worked very effectively.

"However, we're happy to respond to this request by installing new signs. These will read 'Cyclists, please give way to horse riders and pedestrians'.

"We hope this is a satisfactory solution for the horse riding community."

Forest Heath district councillor Colin Noble said people had been asking him for a new cycleway in Mildenhall and West Row for years.

"It was asked for by the community so that families could ride bikes, so there was a safe road between Mildenhall and West Row," he said.

Cllr Noble admitted there was an issue with cyclists being mindful of horse riders, but said the council had worked 'very hard' to rectify it.

"These community facilities are there to be enjoyed by all, not just one group," he said.

"The vast majority of feedback has been extremely positive. Residents are happy that they have a place to walk safely."

Maureen Comber comments

"I wonder how many bridleways they have stolen for cycleways "

Says Maureen Comber

Says Annabel GrechI wonder how many bridleways Mildenhall has added to the definitive map which have linked up the network?

I wonder how many they have stolen for cycleways?

Cycles are regarded as transport so why do they not make the lanes safer rather than nick the few bridleways horse riders have access to, or install new paths.

Hands off our bridleways they are there for a purpose and not an excuse to shove everybody on to a single path. If we can afford to bomb the hell out of Iraq then we can afford more bridleways and cycle paths. Charity begins at home.

Tarmac is not the best surface for horse riders so local riders should sue the council. Perhaps the BHS will help??!! It looks out of character on the crossfield line. Makes you sick.

Equality appears to equal nicking something that was not yours to start with! The Council are out of order, full stop. Cllr Noble needs to learn the law.

Says Linda Wright

Says Linda WrightWe moved to a Shropshire location a year ago having surveyed the local OS map and noted the significant number of bridleways around the property. Sadly the map appears a total fiction. Scarce any of the bridleways are usable ........... read more

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