As a horse rider I have always enjoyed riding on the road whether it be to access a bridleway or simply to appreciate the countryside. I have been riding, sometimes with my children, on local roads in Easthorpe for several years now. Being able to ride on local roads is an essential part of exercising both myself and our ponies particularly in winter months when riding elsewhere is not possible.
The roads in Easthorpe are wonderful for horse riding with such beautiful scenery and access to farm trails, however there is a significant and serious detriment to local road riding: the traffic. The volume of traffic passing through Easthorpe, particularly Easthorpe Road, means that riding a horse on the road can often be dangerous and frightening. There has been a considerable increase in both the volume of traffic and the speed of traffic in the last 5 years. When I am riding The majority of traffic I encounter will be travelling over the speed limit and ignorant of how to pass a horse safely. Most of this traffic is not local and is cutting through the village. For this reason I try to avoid riding my horse on Easthorpe Road which is used as a rat run. I do not feel safe with my horse on this road and when riding with my children we never use Easthorpe Road as I fear for their safety. We have had too many near misses with cars speeding and traffic bottlenecks in recent times so I am now unable to use Easthorpe road to excercise our ponies.
As a vulnerable road user I believe that more could and should be done to protect horse riders from dangerous traffic especially on the single track country lanes in Easthorpe. Encouraging traffic away from tiny villages like Easthorpe is desirable, making Easthorpe unattractive to traffic would help protect vulnerable road users like my children and I. In the absence of positive steps to re route traffic, especially along Easthorpe Road, it is inevitable that there will accidents which could be avoided. traffic should be unable to pass through the village in order to link up with larger roads as this will ensure dangerous traffic volumes and potential accidents are averted. I hope horse riders and other vulnerable road users can receive the protection and consideration they deserve from Highways England.