Osterley Lane is a bridleway, shown on the definitive map. It is a crucial access link for equestrians in the area, especially as local provision for riding is on the decline.
The National Trust has submitted a planning application to resurface and rebrand Osterley Lane as a cycle trail. Although cyclists are permitted to use bridleways, they must (by law) give way to pedestrians and equestrians. On the planning application there is no mention of horses or the fact it is a bridleway at all.
We, the local equestrians, are concerned at this omission to the plans. We are concerned that cyclists will not be advised they should give way to horses, and that this could be dangerous for all parties. We are concerned that the path will be resurfaced with a material unsuitable for hooves. We are concerned the width will not accommodate horses and cyclists. We are concerned that there is no signage to show Osterley Lane as a bridleway. We are concerned that this route may be lost to riders if we don't show our support for it.
We call on The National Trust to adjust their planning application, and demonstrate how they will accommodate horses on this bridleway. We would like them to reassure us, in writing and in the plans, that Osterley Lane will continue to be fit for equestrian purpose. We call on Hounslow Council to reject any planning application that threatens or ignores equestrian access to Osterley Lane.