Horse riders put views across at public inquiry

Scores of horse riders from Sudbury turned out to put their points of view across at a public inquiry held last week.

The riders have been battling for years to get a footpath near Brundon Lane designated as a bridleway.

And Suffolk County Council agreed a modication order to allow it to be designated as a bridleway but the landowers, the Norman family, objected to the move concerned it would be used by unauthorised vehicles.

Town and county councillor John Sayers said the inquiry was extremely well attended with everyone allowed to put their point of view across.

He said: “I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who attended the inquiry which was very orderly and and went extremely well. There were considerable numbers of horse riders there who put their point of view across.

“I was able to say that three generations of my family have used the path – I cycled there, my children and now my grandchildren have learned to cycle there.”

Mr Sayers said he would not be surprised if the groundswell of support to get the footpath designated as a bridleway was successful.

He said an alternative route for horse riders using the railway walk into Ballindon Street was “too dangerous”.

“It’s just my opinion, but I think the bank there is far too steep and is hazardous.”

Melissa Witt from Highbanks Riding School in Melford Road attended the inquiry.

Earlier she said: “I have been riding for 39 years and that part of Brundon Lane was never disputed before. Ninety-nine per cent of car drivers are pretty good.”

Christine Chaplin, who is leading the riders’ campaign, said the horse riders had been trying to get the route sorted out since 2008.