Road safety

Riders raise road safety awareness in Curridge

The riders plan to make them aware of important changes in the rules of the road.

This Sunday at 10am, 15 people will leave the Crown Water Coffee car park along the B4009 and Long Lane towards Curridge, turn into Curridge Road, before returning to their starting point.

They are raising awareness for a national campaign called Pass large & slow, intended to inform road users of recent changes in the highway code.

Two riders cross a small village, on the main road. (59457600)

The British Horse Society recorded 2,943 horse-related road accidents in 2021.

One hundred and twenty-nine horses were injured by abusive or careless road users and, in the most serious cases, 66 horses were killed.

The code, updated in January, says drivers must pass equestrians and horse-drawn carriage riders at a speed of less than 10 miles per hour and allow a distance of at least two meters when passing.

Tash Callaway, one of the organizers, wishes to participate in the race a second time.

She said: “It was started by a lady called Debbie Smith in 2016. I did my first race last year. It went from 178 national events in 2021 to well over 200 this year.

“We have support from a few PCSOs, Sue Nicks and Georgia Dimes. We have support from Berkshire Farm Girl, she will be leading the outing.

“We wanted escort support and we have road marshals just to let oncoming drivers know we’ll be on the road, but we’re not here to cause any disruption at all. It’s just to make people aware that we are sharing the road with them. If people want to stop and ask questions, they can do so, or they can join us afterwards and chat with us.

Wide and Slow Pass (59457664)
Wide and Slow Pass (59457664)

She added: “If we could just stick to side roads and bridleways we would, but unfortunately some of them have gone down and sometimes we have to use part of a road to get to them.

“In the area we are riding there used to be a riding school so many local commuters saw riders every day. This closed during Covid but obviously there are still a lot of people who own horses .

“Everyone has been very helpful and supportive. Many companies have gotten involved, from making and distributing rosettes to high visibility gear. We’re already planning next year.”

A video promoting the national campaign is available at https://youtu.be/jwszw9OFKZ0

Riders of all ages are welcome. Other vulnerable road users, including cyclists, can also attend the protest to show their support.