Horse riders unite to call for safe paths

HORSE riders will join together to lobby for new, safe paths for them to use in and around Clevedon.

Currently, the town only has one bridleway, leaving many horse owners to exercise their animals on the increasingly-busy roads and lanes.

However, many riders hope they can now successfully campaign for permissive paths to be created.

These differ from standard bridleways as they can be created with a landowner’s permission but without having to apply for an official right of way to be created.

Sally Gardner will be joined by many other riders to lobby for such paths in Clevedon.

The 49-year-old, who has two horses called Debbers and Raggers, said: “I have been fed up with the traffic for a long time and everyone I know with horses feels the same.

“I have been left miserable about the riding opportunities around here as it is the roads and nowhere else.

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“We need a positive approach to open up somewhere for us to go rather than the one bridleway in Clevedon.”

Sally, who has lived in Clevedon for more than 30 years and has been riding for much of her life, added: “If the equestrian community can work together we can to try to persuade the land owners that we need these paths.”

With permissive paths, the landowner has the right to close or divert the path at any time and they can also impose restrictions which would not normally apply to highways.

Clevedon town councillor Andrew Withers is helping the riders with their efforts.

He said: “The riders are hoping to form an organisation to start campaigning for a permissive route.

“The group’s first cause will be to negotiate for a route through public land before moving on to the private land owners.

“They are also trying to build up statistics of incidents that have happened on the roads over the past year involving horses.

“A permissive route would provide a safe place for people and youngsters to ride.

“People drive like lunatics around these country lanes.”

Sally has organised a meeting to be held at the Clevedon Town Council offices in Old Street at 7.30pm on Tuesday for any riders wishing to help her lobby for a permissive path in Clevedon.

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