Riders protest over unfinished bridleway

This weekend, 40 riders and their horses rode in a protest parade, calling for the Pennine Bridleway to be completed. 

The bridleway, which is one of 15 long-distance National Trails in England and Wales, officially opened in 2012, but there are areas around Glossop and Charlesworth where horse riders, walkers and cyclists have to take to roads for five to six miles.

Riders, who rode in protest from Hargate Hill Equestrian Centre near Glossop along the the roads they have to use due to the incompletion of the bridleway, say that Derbyshire County Council are 'failing to take the initiative' and are putting horse riders, cyclists and walkers 'at risk'.

Three local groups, Peak Horsepower, SPEED and Tameside riders have teamed up to highlight the dangers that riders are facing and have been supported by cyclists and runners,

Lorna Hawtin, a member of Charlesworth group SPEED said: SPEED was formed in 2012 following a tragic accident where a horse was killed and the rider seriously injured in Charlesworth.

"This was on one of the roads riders have to take because of the failure to finish the Pennine Bridleway around Glossop."

Lesley Cheetham of Tameside Riders said: “Many of our members are frightened to go out for a ride. Motorists are impatient, roads are narrow and vehicles go too fast.

"Sometimes drivers are even verbally abusive to horse riders. Cyclists and pedestrians are facing the same dangers. We are protesting today because this situation can’t be allowed to continue.” 

Char of Peak Horsepower, Charlotte Gilbert, added: “It’s shocking that the Pennine Bridleway that's meant to have horse riding at its heart still has 2% unfinished, forcing horse riders onto dangerous roads.

"It means the investment already made is not being used fully and Derbyshire County Council and Natural England have really let us down.” 

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