North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2019

Representation ID: 33476

Received: 24/03/2019

Respondent: British Horse Society

Representation Summary:

Barton & District Bridleways Group would like to add our support for equestrian inclusion in the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan.

Full text:

I am writing on behalf of Barton & District Bridleways Group.
We would like to add our support for equestrian inclusion in the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan.

I cannot emphasise enough the importance of safe off road routes for equestrians.
Between 2010 and 2017 the BHS horse accidents website has recorded:
230 horses died on the roads and 840 were injured, 5 severely.
39 riders killed, 10 severely injured.
* 3,863 horse riders and carriage drivers in England and Wales were admitted to hospital for 'animal-rider or occupant animal-drawn vehicle injured in transport accident' in 2016-17 (source: NHS Hospital Episodes Statistics).
* Only 1 in 10 horse related road accidents are reported (source: British Horse Society).
The regions with the highest number of incidents are: West Yorkshire, South West and the East of England.

This week JESSE NORMAN MP, the Under Secretary of State for Transport
aid in the House of Commons that more bridleways are needed to reduce road accidents after a question from Laurence Robertson, MP for Tewkesbury.

Barton & District Bridleways Group has over 100 members. Although these riders will generally ride in the area of South West Cambridge they may also ride in the North East Cambridge area. For instance if they were visiting Milton Country Park, which is open to horses. With the Guided Busway Bridleway and the potential link with Waterbeach Greenway, there opens up the potential for equestrians from South West Cambridge to access areas of North East Cambridge. This can be achieved by access to the Guided Busway through Madingley and Girton, or via the proposed Barton and Comberton Greenways and also via Eddington. In the area we have local endurance riders, who need to train for longer rides, and instead of having to take their horses elsewhere, if the Bridleway network, including NMU paths was more joined up, they could ride more locally. This applies to all equestrians.

The length of the public right of way network currently amounts to 188,700km, consisting of
* 146,600km of footpaths,
* 32,400km of bridleways,
* 3,700km of byways and 6,000km of restricted byways.
* Horse riders currently only have access to 22% of public rights of way and horse-drawn vehicle drivers only 5%.
* The Cambridgeshire Rights of Way Improvement Plan - bridleway network is fragmented and in need of improvement. Development and the creation of shared pedestrian / cycle paths further fragments the network

Across the UK Horse riders are currently excluded from 78% of the Rights of Way network and carriage drivers are excluded from 95%.

I appreciate your time reading this letter and noting our response.