Horses on the Lancaster-Morecambe greenway: what’s your view?

There are articles in the local press this week about protests from horse-riders who – like many cyclists – feel at risk on the roads.  Lancashire County Council is asking for the views of cyclists about allowing horses on the Lancaster-Morecambe path.  What do you think?  Feel free to comment below.

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About lancasterdynamo

Dynamo is a cycling group, established in 1994, to work with official bodies, other cycling organisations and interested individuals to promote cycling as a safe, enjoyable and healthy means of transport.
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5 Responses to Horses on the Lancaster-Morecambe greenway: what’s your view?

  1. A quick survey of Dynamo members suggests strong opposition to the idea of horses on the Lancaster-Morecambe greenway. The reasons given are the intimidating size of horses and the difficulty of overtaking them safely on the greenway; the problems of manure; hooves breaking up the surface; and horses reacting unpredictably to dogs (of which there are many).

    Perhaps the Lancaster-Caton path would be a better model to follow. There, horses have their own soft surface beside the tarmacked shared-use path.

  2. Further thoughts from Dynamo members received – this time, more favourable or less hostile to the idea of horses on the greenway. All comments have been forwarded to Lancashire County Council.

  3. John Leach says:

    I find this a challenge particularly as some horse riders are inconsiderate as some drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. However, most horse riders are considerate. As with cyclists and pedestrians, horse riders are marginalised and priority given to motorists. In principle I am happy to share the dual use path with the equestrians. In practice I am less sure.

    There is already congestion on the path due to the number of users with only pedestrians and cyclists. The capacity of the path needs to be increased without horses being permitted to use it. There are already horses on the path particularly near Trimbell. One horse uses all the pedestrian lane or all the cycle lane and can drastically increase the congestion, particularly when some horses are spooked by cyclists. This often occurs when cyclists wear hi-viz clothing and, or the brakes screech. A horse pulling a trap uses more than one lane (pedestrian or cycle) and is inconsiderate use of the facility. We should recognise that horses could walk on the grass verges and effectively increase the width of the path. I do not know whether a horse pulling a trap could use the verges or if the wheels would sink into the ground when it is soft.

    In addition to extra capacity there needs to be respect for other road users. This “soft” issue is a challenge that county finds difficult to grasp and it operates a very effective divide and rule policy at present with motorists, horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians all feeling aggrieved that their needs are being overlooked. This allows the county to build more roads while not maintaining existing ones and ignoring most, if not all, safety concerns.

    In summary, I am in favour of horses using the Lancaster – Morecambe Greenway provided sufficient capacity is added to accommodate its increased use by pedestrians and cyclists in addition to the increased capacity required for horses.

    I believe there should be some consistency between the responses of horse riders and cyclists as the danger is that Lancashire will open the Greenway to horses without adding any (or sufficient) capacity and declare victory!

  4. Pascal says:

    I’m in favour of horses using the Greenways. After all, we share canal towpaths and bridleways with horses. Occasionally we share highways with horses. Why not the Greenways?

  5. Caz says:

    We are so lucky around Lancaster to have the Greenways. I just wish we had more. As it stands, these lovely and essential trails are already overcrowded….especially the Lancaster to Morecambe trail. It is a commuter route for many cyclists and pedestrians. I know that horses already do use the facility, the evidence is left on the path!! Do we want more horses? I feel very selfish by saying “No!” but I also feel that horses and their riders have access to many other bridleways and quiet lanes, less crowded and probably more suitable for their leisure activity.

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