Bridleway controversy


The Byways and Bridleways Trust (BBT) is the latest
organisation to voice its anger over what it sees as the
insensitive impact on routes for horse riders and
walkers by cyclists’ interests, and in particular the
National Cycle Network. The Trust’s ire has recently
been heightened by a late amendment submitted to the
Countryside and Rights of Way Bill that would have
permitted traffic regulation orders to be used to exclude
horses from bridleways that are, or might become, part
of the National Cycle Network. Which organisation, it
asks, promoted such a nasty and selfish amendment?

BET points out that bridleways are de facto routes for
horses and walkers and that cyclists were only
permitted to use them after negotiation by the CTC in
1968. For most of the time since then, cyclists, riders and
walkers have got along reasonably well. But the recent
influx of mountain bikes and the blacktopping of
bridleways for cycle routes has been detrimental to rider
enjoyment and horse health nd safety.

Countryside Minister Michaei Meacher has agreed that
the banning of horses from bridleways is inappropriate
and unjustified.


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