Thank you for contacting me about horse riders using roads.
Over 2.5 million people ride a horse at least once each year in Great Britain, many of whom ride on the road. I know that many prefer not to do so, but riders often have no choice because they need to reach bridleways and other off-road facilities. Horse riders have a right to use the road, and both riders and motorists are responsible for each other’s safety.
The THINK! Campaign, which is run by the Department of Transport, provides motorists with advice on how to be considerate. This is based on the Highway Code:
• Slow down and be ready to stop if necessary
• Look out for riders’ signals to slow down or stop
• Watch out for sudden movements, horses can be easily frightened and unpredictable
• Don’t sound your horn or rev your engine
• Pass wide and slow when overtaking; giving the horse plenty of room. Don’t accelerate rapidly once you have passed them.
Further to this advice, in August 2018 it was announced the Department for Transport would be reviewing the advice in the Highway Code in relation to overtaking vulnerable road users, including horse riders.
When on the roads, we should all treat others, including horse riders, considerately.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.