massive quote from forum:
[quote]As the law stands at the moment, EU funding can be made available to maintain bridleways by converting them to 'sustrans' routes ('sustainable transport' in favour of cyclists). The problem is that the reclassification means that these old bridleways will get a makeover, but because they lose the bridleway status, Horses won't be allowed on them . There is a real risk that Horse riders are going to be marginalised in the name of 'going green' which is a movement which shouldn't be underestimated.
I had a conversation with (Director of Access for the BHS) Mark Weston at the time of the last petition, and he said that due to the wording and lack of consultation amongst the equestrian community in the CROW 2000 bill, no provision was made for horse riders in helping to provide alternative (safe) routes on which we could get about on.
With amendments of the Bill being looked at, it is crucial that Horse riders have our voices heard or we will continue to be marginalised, and our safe routes are at risk of vanishing.
Quote:BHS petition calls for bigger say for equestrians in access law-making
The British Horse Society is calling on all equestrians to sign a petition asking the Government to give them a say in all new access and rights of way legislation. Equestrians are the most vulnerable of road users and need increased off-road access for their safety and the welfare of their horses. Horse riding and driving provides healthy outdoor exercise, which the Government is keen to encourage. It is enjoyed by more than four million people in the UK and is the second biggest land-based industry, but equestrians have not been included in recent access-creating legislation which would help make them safer and encourage healthy outdoor recreation.The recent petition calling for amendments to the equestrian sections of the Highway Code attracted just under 20,000 signatures, showing the amount of concern there was in the equestrian community. The BHS Access Department and its regional access and bridleway officers would like riders and other horse lovers to sign the petition.
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to include access for equestrians in all new access legislation, access given to walkers in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CROW) 2000. Over 4 million people in the UK ride horses or drive horse-drawn vehicles. The equine industry is the second biggest land-based industry estimated to be worth £4 billion and to employ 150,000 people. The current coastal access proposal should be extended to provide access for all non-motorised users thus allowing mixed family groups to exercise together. This would be consistent with the joint Government/Industry-backed Strategy for the Horse Industry, published in December 2005. Providing access for equestrians and cyclists, as well as walkers, represents better value than just providing access for walkers.[/quote]