Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Award for team who refurbished dangerous bridleway

THE team behind the refurbishment of a public bridleway near Whitchurch have won an award.

THE team behind the refurbishment of a public bridleway near Whitchurch have won an award.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Countryside Access Team built new steps, a ramp and a handrail on a steep section of the Thames Path about a mile north-west of the village.

Their work has been rewarded by the British Horse Society’s Oxfordshire branch, which presented them with its Access Innovation Award. The accolade rewards people who have made riding routes easier to negotiate.

Branch chairwoman Troth Wells, who presented the award, said: “We are lucky to have such good people to co-operate with and who worked hard to come up with an innovative solution that suits all users in such a challenging location.” The path, which joins Whitchurch to Hartslock Wood, had not been maintained for many years.

The old steps had worn away and had to be removed as they were deemed hazardous.

Last year, a cyclist was taken to hospital following an accident on the slope and many riders had stopped using it for fear of an accident. At last week’s awards ceremony, the access team were put on horseback to see the path from a rider’s perspective.

Team member Dan Weeks said: “Being able to see things from a different point of view was very valuable. The session helped reinforce the need to ensure gates are easy for horse riders to use.”

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