Thank you for contacting me about horse riders and the Highway Code review. I have confirmed that Ministers are aware of the points made by horse riders about the scope of the review.
As you have correctly pointed out, a review of the Highway Code was recently announced to help keep vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, safe on the roads.
It is important to recognise that horse riders are also vulnerable road users and so Highway Code advice on, for example, overtaking or passing cyclists applies equally to them.
When the review was first announced, it was encouraging to see the Government committing to update the Highway Code in relation to close passing. This is a dangerous practice which is the root cause of many road incidents involving horses.
I believe the full scope of the review has yet to be determined, but I am told it will be conducted in consultation with those representing horse riders.
In addition to the Highway Code review, I am glad that work has taken place with the British Horse Society to support its ‘Dead Slow’ campaign to encourage drivers to pass horses safely.
It is also welcome that the driving theory test contains questions about how drivers should interact with vulnerable road users, including horse riders. The hazard perception test includes a number of clips where horse riders are the hazard, either directly or indirectly.
I hope this comes as reassurance that the safety of horse riders is taken seriously.