20 May 2014

Consider horse riders MPs hear

6:44 am on 20 May 2014

MPs have been told that horse riders should be considered when the Transport Agency is designing new roads.

The Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee is considering a petition signed by 15,000 people, which calls for Parliament to recognise horses as an alternative mode of travel in New Zealand.

Horse riders should be considered when designing new roads, MPs hear.

Horse riders should be considered when designing new roads, MPs hear. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Jan Mossman, who organised the petition, says they want councils and regional authorities to reinforce bylaws, educate drivers and launch a public awareness campaign.

She told the select committee that expert horse riders should be included in consultation around roading decisions.

"Ideally we would like transport planners to consider horses when designing or planning new roads or modifications to existing ones. Where suitable berms developed for suitable new roads and on upgrades to existing roads, we're only looking at suitable trails that suit horses to mix with the other users, so it's not every trail we need to be on.

"We want appropriate signage to warn drivers that hey, look out for the cyclist, the runner the horse rider and perhaps even straying stock."

Ms Mossman said the road code needs to be tightened up, as it is currently a bit sloppy around the rules for passing horses.

"It says slow down for horses, so does that mean from 100 kilometers per hour to 80 kilometers per hour to pass them? It says give them a wide berth, so how wide? You know that's where we really need to tighten up," she said.

The select committee will consider the submissions and then make a recommendation to Parliament.