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
Special £20,000 horse crossing installed
TO HELP RIDERS CROSS FAST BUSY ROAD
A bespoke horse crossing has been installed in Upper Lambourn to help race horses and their riders safely cross a fast, busy road.
West Berkshire Council has worked closely with Lambourn Parish Council and the Jockey Club Estates Ltd to install a pair of flashing warning signs on Upper Lambourn Road. This has been achieved through a positive working relationship between West Berkshire Council Lambourn Parish Council and working with Jockey Club Estates and in support of the wider equestrian industry in West Berkshire.
The scheme, which is expected to cost around £20,000, is being funded by equally by all three organisations with a commitment made to the project last summer and before the savings required in 2016/17 were known.
The crossing was installed following concerns about the poor visibility of horses and jockeys riding to and from the gallops near the recreation ground. In response to the concerns, West Berkshire Council's traffic and road safety officers reduced the speed limit to 30mph and looked to install a warning system that would allow drivers to the presence of horses. No system existed so officers worked closely with the road safety industry to design the flashing warning signs.
The flashing signs can be used between 6am and 12.30pm when most racehorses are travelling to and from the gallops and they can be activated by riders at either side of the road by flicking a toggle-type switch. Once activated the lights flash for 60 seconds and can be activated multiple times where groups of racehorses are crossing the road.
Welcoming the move Councillor Graham Jones, District Councillor for Lambourn ward and Deputy Leader of the Council, said: "I'm pleased that we have been able to install this crossing and help ensure riders are as safe as they can be crossing a busy road. It shows that we can be responsive to local needs and innovative in our approach to solving local problems - and that we can do it working with our partners.
"The initial feedback from the trainers and riders is very positive but we will be monitoring it to gauge its effectiveness over time."
Although not a formal crossing facility the bespoke design for the warning signs is a result of an in-depth design consultation between West Berkshire Council, Lambourn Parish Council, The Jockey Club Estates Ltd, Wescotec Traffic Safety Systems and the council's term maintenance contractor, Volker Highways.
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