Motorists are being warned to take extra care when driving along country lanes after a race horse being ridden on a lane near Upton Cheyney had to be destroyed following a collision with a car today.
Police were called to Marshfield Lane just after 10.30am. The horse was seriously injured and the owner arranged for it to be destroyed at the scene. The lane was closed for two hours.
The rider was checked over by paramedics but was not believed to be seriously hurt.
The closure of the A431 between Kelston and Bath has led to a dramatic increase in traffic on lanes around Upton Cheyney and Beach with motorists taking back routes to get to and from Bath via Lansdown.
Local councillor Erica Williams told The Week In: ”This time the horse was ridden by an experienced jockey but this is an area popular with family riders.
“Many people don’t know how to drive on country lanes and assume they can travel at the same speed they have been doing coming down from Lansdown.
“It’s vital people understand the importance of driving carefully through these diversions.”
Jo Chillcott, who lives in Marshfield Lane, was horrified to hear of today’s accident which was just a short distance from her house. She wrote to South Gloucestershire Council earlier this month asking for temporary measures to reduce the volume of traffic and improve the safety, speed and flow of traffic in the lanes around Upton Cheyney.
Mrs Chillcott told the council: “Marshfield Lane is increasingly being used as a rat run for commuters to and from Bath who live outside the village. The lane is already in a poor state of repair, with a number of large potholes and is not able to cope with the additional volume of traffic and further damage to verges and hedgerows caused by traffic trying to pass in both directions on a single track lane.
“The lanes are generally used frequently by horse riders, walkers and cyclists and it seems hard to imagine how this use will be able to continue safely given the increased volume of traffic.
“As a resident it is becoming increasingly difficult to go about our daily business safely and having to contend with increased traffic blocking the route to and from our property is making the twice daily school run very difficult, stressful and time consuming.
“Furthermore, some drivers are not competent in driving in the lanes and some are not very considerate when it comes to driving at speeds appropriate for a narrow country lane or reversing to a more suitable passing place.”
The council’s streetworks manager Vicky Gent responded by saying the emergency closure of the A431 at Kelston Park has had a major impact on South Gloucestershire’s network.
She added: “I can confirm that the area has been checked and signage has been found to be suitable. The signage present ranges from the flashing VMS (variable message sign) type to the black on yellow boards. They are situated on all approaches to Bath Road.
“For those travelling to Bath, we are actively trying to head them off at Cherry Garden roundabout to ensure as far as practical that vehicles will not be queuing to turn around on the A431. Unfortunately local drivers are aware that they can get through the narrow lanes instead of following the official diversion route and as there are no current TROs (traffic regulation orders) in place we cannot stop them.
“We are, however, looking into putting restrictions on the unofficial diversion route but this like all things official takes time.”
She said signs had been erected warning motorists to look out for horses and the council was “working closely with B&NES to try and resolve complaints. In the meantime we are looking at other possible implementations that can alleviate the problem. We are also looking to carry out some maintenance in around six weeks under a road closure.”