Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex 6


Response to Question 443

  Our Road Safety Strategy, "Tomorrow's Roads—Safer for Everyone", published in March 2000, included the measures we are pursuing to improve safety for horseriders. These are described below. However, some initiatives were already underway. For example, the Highway Code published in February 1999 contains more references to horses and riders and for the first time includes a section devoted to horseriders and other animals.

  The driving test has been improved. There are more references to horses and riders in the theory tests for car, lorry and bus drivers. The length of the practical test has been extended so that there is scope for use of a wider range of roads and a greater likelihood of encountering vulnerable road users, including horseriders. Towards the end of the year the theory test will be extended to include hazard perception, and the clips which might be seen by candidates will include horseriders. The Driving Standards Agency has produced "What If" videos that are designed to alert drivers and riders to hazardous situations. Both these videos include horseriders. DSA are also producing further training material specifically designed to help candidates prepare for the hazard perception test.

  We work with the British Horse Society to improve safety. We have helped with the production of leaflets and a video entitled Horse Sense for Motorists. Very recently, we worked together on radio advertising and that is already on air. We are also working together over the production of an advert that could be used on television. As well as the joint initiatives, we are also happy to provide financial assistance for projects that promote road safety. The most recent is a grant we gave to BHS for the production of training booklets.

  Access for horseriders is a matter for local authorities. However, the options available to them for making positive provision for horseriders are:

    —  Bridleways;

    —  An all-purpose highway (or part of a highway) giving equal rights to horseriders, cyclists and pedestrians, prohibiting motor vehicle use by way of a traffic regulation order; and

    —  A margin created by the side of a highway under the powers available under section 71 of the Highways Act 1980 for the safety and accommodation of ridden horses.

  We believe these options allow authorities to take full account of the need of horseriders. In addition to this specific provision, the Local Transport Plan guidance for local authorities drew attention to the need for some roads in rural areas to be considered for better provision for vulnerable road users, including horseriders, and referred to the concept of quiet roads. The Transport Act 2000 introduced powers for local authorities to designate quiet lanes. The concept is a Countryside Agency initiative and both we and the Agency are monitoring the effects of pilot schemes in Kent and Norfolk. The monitoring should help to establish what improvements in conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and horseriders can be achieved by quiet lanes.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 5 July 2002