Suffolk: Safety advice stepped up for cyclists and horse riders

Cyclists and horse riders will receive more safety advice when on the roads

Cyclists and horse riders will receive more safety advice when on the roads - Credit:

The level of road safety advice being offered to cyclists about the dangers of approaching horses is being stepped up. Suffolk County Council has began circulating a leaflet written by The British Horse Society setting out a code of conduct for road users.

The society said riders are being forced on to the roads as less than a quarter of public rights of way are accessible.

Mid Suffolk District councillor Kathie Guthrie, who represents Debenham, has written to the county council about the issue.

She said horse riders and cyclist both had a duty to keep the roads safe. “I horse ride regularly and often encounter cyclists,” she said.

“Their brightly-coloured, tight-fitting lycra suits and outfits with heads down and legs pumping up and down and whooshing sounds do nothing to endear horses to them.

“Horses are a fright and flight animal they have fantastic peripheral vision and can see you even when your are some distance away.

“My request is that cyclists, whether approaching from the front or rear to slow right down, not just free wheel, but slow right down and call out something along the lines of ‘is it safe for me to pass’, even ‘hello’ will help.”

Most Read

Keith Halton, secretary for The Cyclists’ Touring Club Suffolk, said: “We have been through this with members and encourage cyclists to make sure riders are aware and that they past slowly and carefully. Both horse riders and cyclists need to take care.”

The leaflet will be sent to cycling clubs and publicised on a county council Twitter website.

It tells horse owners to make sure their animal is fit and taught how to cope with different situations which could arise on the roads.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: “The county council will be circulating information leaflets to horse riding and cycling groups and clubs to raise awareness of road safety issues specific to those groups. We hope these leaflets will help provide advise and guidance to enable them to continue using Suffolk roads safely.”