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Bridle-paths

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th April 1995.

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Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North 12:00 am, 24th April 1995

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many bridle-paths in the Principality are available also to drivers of horse-drawn vehicles; in which main locations; and if he will make a statement. [18734]

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

Bridle-ways are for use by those on foot, those on horses and those who are leading horses. I must tell my hon. Friend that bridle-ways are not for use by vehicles, even horse-drawn vehicles.

Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North

I thank my hon. Friend and ask him whether he is doing anything to produce more bridle-paths in Wales. One cannot have too much of a good thing. Will he consider the position of one or two disabled ex-riders whom I know, who are now able to drive but not ride any more? Is it possible for them to be allowed to drive small horse-drawn vehicles on good, firm bridle-paths, which would not be cut up by their doing so?

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

I am afraid that the problem is that many bridle-ways are just not suitable for any form of vehicle, including horse-drawn vehicles. I cannot hold out a prospect to my hon. Friend of a change in the legislation that regulates that subject, but I understand that the British Horse Society has produced a leaflet to help carriage drivers and others to consider whether particular rights of way would be suitable as byways and be able to accommodate carriages. I am sure that that is a suitable step in the right direction, and I would encourage consideration of that possibility.