Closing date for the White Paper consultation for the Active Travel Wales Bill is August 14th. No responses received after that date will be considered.
It is vital that we send in as many responses as possible from Regions, groups (eg bridleways groups) and individuals.
The email address to send the responses to is:- LGCTransportMailbox@wales.gsi.gov.uk
As it stands at the moment this bill is entirely for the benefit of cyclists
and walkers. It was written by cyclists (SUSTRANS) for cyclists
As it is a long term proposal we must speak up now if we hope to be
considered and included. Remember that we were not included in the
National Transport Policy for Wales or in the Regional Transport Plans. At
least we have been in on the consultation this time.
Arguments used against the inclusion of equestrians in this bill include
1. Horses are not a form of transport.
2. Horse riding is purely recreational
3. Horse riding takes place in a rural setting and this bill is aimed at
(key) urban areas.
The consultation itself can be viewed on
Some of the points to consider that you may want to include in a response
1. This bill should be designed for ALL VULNERABLE ROAD USERS/NON-MOTORISED
USERS – not simply for walkers and cyclists.
2. Horses ARE a form of transport. They carry riders/drivers in the same
way that bicycles carry cyclists.
3. Horse riding may be largely recreational but by far the greatest use of
cycling is also recreational
4.The majority of livery yards and fields where riding horses are kept are
on the urban fringe of towns and their owners/riders live in the towns.
5. Horse owners put a great deal into the local economy over and above
their contribution as citizens. The National Equine Database figures for
May 2012 show that there are 134,748 passported horses /ponies in Wales and
as the BETA estimates say that horse owners spend £3000 per horse per annum,
this puts over £400million into the Welsh economy each year.
6. One of the aims of this bill is to get people to travel in a healthier
way – include the Health Benefits of Riding.
7. Since 1968, cyclists have been able to use bridleways without any
restrictions (other than giving way to walkers and horse riders) so it
follows that there is no reason not to have reciprocal opportunities for
horse riders on cycle routes.
8. If a road is considered ‘unsafe’ for walkers and cyclists then it is
equally, if not more so, for equestrians – who are probably the most
vulnerable of all non-motorised road users.
9. Making routes multi-user wherever possible is ‘best value’ for the use
of local government resources. If possible routes should be considered as
restricted byways – which wopuld also benefit horse drawn vehicles, although
it is accepted that this is not always possible.
10. Kepping this bill purely for walkers and cyclists could be seen as
discrimination against a whole group of vulnerable road users ie horse
riders. Most horse riders are female and often children while cyclists
seem to be predominantly male. (on the Cardiff LAF, we have 3 cyclists –
all men, 2 ramblers – 1male and 1 female and 2 equestrians – both women.)
11. During the consultation meetings many people felt that this bill should
take into account rural as well as urban settings. They also felt that
cyclists as well as others needed educating about the rules of the road –
such as not going through red lights! Many thought that the mapping
procedure would be costly both in time and resources to local authorities
and was not really necessary because it is already there on lots of
different sites.(Q1) and that guidance was preferable to regulation – being
less combative (Q 2.)
At the end of the consultation paper there are 7 questions. Most of the
points I have brought up here would probably go under Q7. Q4 deals with
horse riders having the use of cycle paths – so that is important to us as
well. Q 6 deals with the costs and benefitd if this bill should go through
and if it goes through unchanged it could well cost us a lot by losing
access to cyclist and walkers.
It is interesting to look at the end of the paper to see the list of
publications used for evidence in developing this white paper – almost entirely cycling orientated!!