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Horse riders campaign against trail works

By Ed Elliot, Penistone Reporter Thursday 22nd May 2014

A GROUP of concerned horse riders have joined forces to try and stop resurfacing works 'destroying' the Trans Pennine Trail by turning it into 'another road'.

Barnsley Council has been laying tarmacadam on a grassed section of the trail between Bullhouse and Whams Road using funding from the Department of Transport.

Some horse riders thought half the width of the path would remain 'natural' to allow them to continue using it but the work has left only a narrow strip of grass, about 1.5m, which is unsuitable because of overhanging trees.

Horse rider Lucy Woodhead said: "When the first stretch was completed between Penistone and Bullhouse we were left with a side that was full of stones that the horses simply can't walk on," she said.

"With this latest stretch of work, we were promised that lessons had been learned – instead we have a worse problem where the whole of this beautiful stretch has been covered in tarmacadam."

Walking on hard surfaces has a negative impact on horses joints and the group, which has about 60 members, wants to ensure the council leaves them an adequate amount of natural surface if and when it carries out further work.

A council spokesman said: "The works on this part of the Trans Pennine Trail are only part way through. As part of the finishing works to the bridleway strip, the overhanging branches will be removed to a height of 12 feet."

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Posted by Jill Hancock I Thu 22nd May 2014 at 2:20pm

The same has happened south near Chesterfield and at Pooksbrnk country park-the pathr are now covered in sharp black chippings, they said it was to reduce future maintenance and to stop them getting muddy in winter for walkers and cyclists , we have no 'bridleway strip' at all and the edges are overgrown with brambles covering big stones, i now have to have my previously unshod pony shod as it is too painful for him to walk on.

Posted by jane english I Thu 22nd May 2014 at 2:22pm

Absolutely hideous! Why??????? Why are we hell bent on ruining this?

Posted by jane english I Thu 22nd May 2014 at 2:26pm

What doesn't the Council spokesman understand about 'off-road riding'?

Posted by Victoria Salvin I Thu 22nd May 2014 at 5:03pm

This is disgraceful that this is happening, we need every bridleway/trail as the roads are so dangerous to ride out on. Well done Lucy, keep up the good work.

Posted by Sue Shore I Thu 22nd May 2014 at 11:22pm

I ride on the trail regularly and the main problem if you are on a big horse is the gates on the stretch between silkstone

Posted by Jenny Severn I Fri 23rd May 2014 at 7:43pm

As it's not fit for purpose, does this mean that the council will remove it and start again? When will they start to communicate with the people that use the facilities and learn from their mistakes?!

The money used on the inappropriate surface could have been used to sort the gates out. Clearly no one involved in this project rides horses!

Posted by carol daniels I Fri 23rd May 2014 at 11:18pm

Sympathy for horses, but far better for cyclists at least we are not up the pedals in mud.

Posted by Scarlett Johnson I Sat 24th May 2014 at 7:36am

Maybe, just maybe there wouldn't be seen to be a need to Tarmac the trail if it hadn't been churned up by the horse riders, thereby leaving some areas unsuitable for anyone else's use. Ride the horses round their fields instead.

Posted by Carolyn skeldon I Sat 24th May 2014 at 8:30am

The first stretch that was completed was done in recycled tyres which is a friendly surface for everyone - why couldn't this be done in the other phase? Cost??

Posted by Jenny Severn I Sat 24th May 2014 at 9:09pm

Fortunately the trail is for all and not just for cyclist. Or maybe you should just stick to the roads Scarlett Johnson .

A trail with a surface suitable for all is ideal, and as a second option half Tarmac and half a suitable riding surface.

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