The British Horse Society supports Welsh Assembly member Rhodri Glyn Thomas’s call that horses should be viewed as ‘vulnerable road users’ within the framework of Technical Advice Note (TAN) 18.
During a meeting of the Assembly, Mr Thomas highlighted the fact that certain local Councils in Wales are doing excellent work when it comes to opening new bridleways but due to the dangers horses face on roads when travelling to these new routes, they should be classed as ‘vulnerable road users.’
Mr Thomas called for a review of TAN 18 to include this legislation as the information could be deemed as out of date since it hasn’t been reviewed since March 2007.
TAN 18 is a policy which describes how transport impacts should be assessed and mitigated. It is taken into account by local planning authorities when they are preparing development plans.
An evaluation of TAN 18 is crucial as it could tie in with the Active Travel Bill which is in the early stages of being passed through the Welsh Assembly. It currently only focuses on walking and cycling, completely disregarding horse-riding as a form of active travel or recreation.
Mark Weston, BHS Director of Access, Safety and Welfare, stated: “It is ridiculous that equestrians are not considered by the Welsh Assembly to be vulnerable road users in Technical Advice Note 18 and it is imperative that they are perceived as such in this document, the Active Travel Bill and in the Road Safety Delivery Plan.”
Following Mr Thomas’s request for a review into Tan 18 to include horses, the First Minister provided a positive response, promising to write to Mr Thomas to respond to the points he raised in more detail.