Please increase the number of Multi-user off road routes available to Horse Riders to 30% of the Rights of Way network in every Borough/Authority across the whole of the UK by 2030.
This petition had 6,508 supporters
In many Boroughs/Authorities across the UK, the number of off road routes available to Horse Riders is very small and woefully short of the national average of 22% of the Rights of Way network. Many horse riders are riding on busy dangerous A and B roads to exercise their horses and get to the few Bridleways/Multi-user routes they have available to them. There are policies to include new Rights of Way for cyclists and walkers when new housing developments are created but Horse Riders are being over looked. The British Horse Society estimates that 3,000 accidents involving horses happen each year on UK roads. To ensure a future for leisure horse riding and Equestrian businesses throughout the UK it is essential that more off road multi-user routes are made available to them. We have started this petition after conducting a survey from September to December 2014 in our own town of Wokingham in Berkshire. Approximately 13,000 new homes are proposed within the borough, some of which are already under construction, this will result in a significant increase in traffic. The survey showed that without more Bridleways/Multi-user routes 86% of riders anticipate leaving the borough to find livery and 50% of Equestrian business anticipate closure. This presents a potential loss of £10.5 million to Wokingham's local economy, limited diversity of sports, fewer jobs within the rural communities and restricted enjoyment of the countryside, it would also mean the demise of some local Equestrian clubs and charities. We believe this problem is UK wide but can easily be resolved with incentives for councils/ landowners to put in new multi- user routes, upgrade some footpaths in key areas and with the use of historical evidence re-instate lost routes. Time is of the essence, action needs to be taken now!
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