Says Naomi Smith
It is all too possible to round a corner on horseback and come upon a group of cattle with no prior warning -this WILL result in a horse being badly spooked at best, bolting at worst -it is only a matter of time ........... read more
Meon Valley Trail. Improvements are for cyclists NOT riders
The focus for investment was to support increases in cycle trips to, from and around National Parks
Says Mike Ashton, a CTC Right to Ride Representative
The Trail is a 17km long redevelopment of the former Meon Valley Railway, from Wickham to West Meon. It provides an attractive traffic free route across the South Downs for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders avoiding the A32.
It should be fully open late summer. The work is partly funded from the Department of Transport, 'Cycling in National Parks Grant', linking communities and supporting the sustainable tourism economy. The Meon Valley Trail was badly under used for many years. Mud often made cycling impossible.
Drainage and coppicing undertaken to dry out the site, along with the stone chipping surface should provide an improved base for all users. After 2 or 3 years the local biodiversity will improve to make an outing along the trail a memorable event.
Route safety will be better but several road accesses need improvement, also permitting the use of horse trotting is not consistent with children cycling safely and will discourage many users. The tree work will provide better visibility enabling far more users without increasing the risk of conflicts of interests between users.
Where similar developments have been undertaken user levels have increased but anti social behaviour has reduced. Overall the trail development is considered to be a very positive development. It's unfortunate that the publicity given by the Hampshire Chronicle and the BBC has been so negative and badly researched.
As a final thought a large proportion of cyclists would prefer the trail to have a sealed surface enabling all year round use that would help to improve the health and well being of a considerable proportion of users.
Maureen Comber comments
"Well it seems that giving away our bridleway rights is what is called 'Working with the Council' according to the BHS."
Says Maureen Comber
I don't think HCC can just upgrade the bridleway without the consent of the Secretary of State but they don't seem to think he counts for much.
As far as I can see they just do what they want.
The BHS ignore the law so they can 'work with the Council'. How disgraceful is that?
Not for nothing is Hampshire County Council's address known as The Castle, Westminster.
Tony Barnett comments
- The upgrading could act as an impediment to horse riders because of the type of road surface used
- I would demand that someone from the council and National Parks makes a statement as to the safety of the upgrading and that any mishap will be fully compensated
Says Tony Barnett
Should the authorities interfere with the surface, then it will have adopted it , this then makes them responsible for any/each mishap, the upgrading can be seen as it being adopted by both parties, and their liability.
Evidence that the access has been dedicated as a Bridlepath after the railway lines were removed meaning that somehow the council etc were/are aware of the type of dressing/surface was required for horse use, looking at the photo's sent there doesnt seem any impediment to other users, the question remains are the public "invited" to use the access or is it by choice? there is a difference.
The upgrading could act as an impediment to horse riders because of the type of road surface, if as is stated road stone is washed away or moved, through constant use, one might assume that Tarmacadam is the next choice of surface, this then could see an end to the bridle path because the surface can be dangerous, however, the surface is a bonding material which does include stone, the surface it is assured is a porous one, the only worry is the design because of the camber(tilt), therefore I would suggest that because of the tilt there is uncertainty of the surface drainage.
I would demand that someone from the council and National Parks makes a statement as to the safety of the upgrading and that any mishap will be fully compensated and to disclose the certificate to show public liability,not just for horses but all that access the land/bridlepath, the Parks have stated that the use by cycles will be monitored to prevent nuisance.
Having made contact with the Parks office I am sure that all information has not been disclosed for public consumption, also the public liability certificate must be disclosed on demand by the public, which, needs itemised and not as councils insurers say that we insure all council owned properties, that is rubbish, it is the cover for the works on Meon trail that is required to include the safety certificate.
Now sign the petitionSave our bridleway:
Meon Valley Disused Railway Line
We the undersigned are concerned about the urbanisation of a local beauty spot that has been enjoyed by the local community for generations. We wish it to be preserved for generations to come.
We the undersigned call on those responsible for the works to the Meon Valley Disused Railway Line, "The Meon Valley Trail" to postpone work to allow the following to take place: 1. Full consultation with the local community, environmental groups and other interested parties about the upgrading of the surface of the railway and the widening of access points along the railway 2. An agreement to be reached about the most appropriate surface for the railway line, to meet the needs of the local community 3. An agreement to be reached about the appropriate size of the proposed access points along the railway line, to ensure the safety of all users
Says Linda Wright
We moved to a Shropshire location a year ago having surveyed the local OS map and noted the significant number of bridleways around the property. Sadly the map appears a total fiction. Scarce any of the bridleways are usable ........... read more