Chancellor announces £2m for the creation of new bridleways

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The British Horse Society enthusiastically welcomes the Chancellor’s announcement today, in his Autumn Statement, of a new £2m “Paths for Communities” grant scheme under which new paths carrying rights for equestrians, walkers and cyclists will be created.

BHS Chairman Dr. Phil Wadey said: “After years of patient campaigning, The British Horse Society’s fight to secure for equestrians the sort of provision previously available only to walkers and cyclists is beginning to pay off. We welcome the Chancellor’s recognition that public money, when spent on the creation of new rights of way from which motorised vehicles are excluded, delivers best value when all vulnerable users are catered for.”

BHS Director of Access, Safety and Welfare, Mark Weston said: “This is a hugely encouraging result after years of fighting for the rights of equestrians. With riders currently enjoying access to only 22 percent of all rights of way and carriage drivers faring even less well, and with those percentages set to diminish significantly as walkers acquire new rights of way, this initiative marks an important turning point.

“Following the Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries’ comment in June that local authorities, when creating paths, should ensure that horse riders are accommodated as well as walkers and cyclists, it is clear that the strength of the BHS’s arguments has at last been acknowledged.”

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