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Will Riders Get Better off Road Access?
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Will Riders Get Better off Road Access?

Wokingham is a small civil community and market town located in the South East England near Berkshire about 53 km west of Central London. It is located 11 km southeast of Reading and 4.8 km west of Bracknell. Wokingham is spread over an area of 557 acres and according to the survey of 2001, the total population in this area was 30,403. It is the foundation of Borough of Wokingham and Wokingham urban area.

Horse riding is very common in this area and many of the citizens have their own stables. The big names in this regard are companies like Santolina Stables and Cloud Stables. Recently, the riders have started to face great difficulty while accessing the roads and in order to protest this limited access, 40 riders gathered from Wokingham Berkshire to voice their concerns for more off road access for their horses.

The Long March

Riders from Wokingham gathered to highlight their movement calling for increased off road access where they can exercise their horses. The amount of roads with off road access horse riders in the area is only 22%. An appeal made by British Horse Society is calling for riders to have access to 30% of all routes on the right of way paths throughout the United Kingdom by 2030.

In order to support the petition, more than 40 riders gathered and marched from Wokingham to demonstrate to the authorities how many people living in Wokingham exercise their horses on main roads and face difficulties during their travels. According to a survey conducted by British Horse Society, every year there are 3,000 road accidents in the United Kingdom involving horses with the main reason of this huge number being the limited access to save off road for riders.

The Real Facts

Despite the state claims that 22% of roadways in the UK have safe off-round access, a survey conducted by British Horse Society last year on behalf of Wokingham Bridleway Group found that the 2,228 horses registered with riders truly only have 10% access to the right of way network routes, which is below the national average.

According to Nicola Greenwood, an officer of British Horse Society for Wokingham, horse riding throughout the district is more endangered by government plans to build 13,000 new homes in rural areas.

The Recommendation for Mutual Benefits

Greenwood said that the British Horse Society is looking forward to see a development plan made in accordance with the borough of the council in such a way that it can be beneficial for both the riders and the society. The government needs to allocate funds to expand off road access for riders by implementing new tracks and paths which can be used by horses and their riders, which contribute £12million per year to the local economy. The development of bridleways and multi-user paths will allow the civilians, cyclists and horse riders to freely and safely travel throughout the district.

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