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‘there Are Alternatives To Riding On The Roads’

A PERSHORE woman who was lucky to survive after a car collided with the rear of her horse-drawn carriage is promoting a safer way to ride and drive.

In last week’s Evesham Journal we reported how a group of riders had set up a safety campaign following a collision near Cheltenham, in which a horse was killed.

Campaign organiser Sam Green, who keeps horses in Honeybourne and Bidford, was hoping to encourage drivers to take extra care when passing horses.

Mrs Martin said she was deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy, and wanted to recommend a safer alternative to riding on the roads.

The 69-year-old is a member of Trot – the Toll Rides Off-Road Trust – which maintains an ever-growing network of private bridleways across the country.

These can be accessed in exchange for a modest annual fee, and include routes in Wick, near Pershore, Sedgeberrow, near Evesham, Upton Snodsbury and on the Ragley Estate.

Mrs Martin discovered Trot after being involved in a collision in Broad Campden, near Chipping Campden, in 2004 while driving in a convoy of carriages. After the initial collision, a chain of events unfolded that left four people in hospital, two horses injured, two cars damaged and two carriages broken.

“It was horrific,” said Mrs Martin, “but it so easily could have been worse – everybody, including the horses, lived to tell the tale.

“I still drive on the road, but as every year passes they seem to get busier, faster and more dangerous.

“Trot provides a real alternative for people who are concerned about safety.”

Trot is always on the lookout for new landowners to open field edges or tracks to riders in exchange for an annual payment.

For further information, visit tollrides.co.uk.

To find out more about public bridleways in the area, visit the Worcestershire Bridleways and Riders Association website at wbra.co.uk.

‘There are alternatives to riding on the roads’

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