by-pass A43 a safer road to cross
Horse Society advises Highways Agency on Pegasus crossing
for busy dual carriageway
A43 at Abthorpe, near Towcester in Northamptonshire is now a safer
road to cross thanks to work by the Highways Agency, advised by
members of the BHS. County bridleways representative John Shenfield
was actively involved in the provision of the Pegasus crossing which
was officially opened yesterday (13 March).
local riders, including Theresa Hartley who runs a livery yard nearby,
several cyclists, walkers and a dog attended the opening which is
believed to be one of the first of its kind in the country as it
has necessitated the need for a 'horse corral' on the central reservation.
The A43, now a busy dual carriageway, has barred the way for many
horse riders in the area from accessing safe off-road riding since
it was upgraded from a single carriageway as it literally chopped
the Grafton Way Bridleway in two. John Shenfield and Ann Scott,
a local rider, have worked hard for over three years to have a crossing
put in place and went so far as to hold a demonstration at the site
in October 2001.
improvements have been made to the approaches for both riders and
vehicles with advance warning signs to alert drivers. Neil Doherty,
the Highways Agency project manager for the crossing, said "We
appreciate the assistance from the British Horse Society and local
riders who freely gave their advice and help, alongside our own
designers, contractors and partners in Northamptonshire in perfecting
the designs of the new crossing.
safe route has now been provided for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians
to cross the A43, which also reconnects the Grafton Way Bridleway
that was severed by the dualling of the Towcester Bypass. We are
sure that all users will benefit from this new facility."
Hartley commented after using the crossing for the first time, "We
are so grateful for this crossing. Before the A43 became a dual
carriageway I could cross the road further up quite safely but since
it was upgraded it has been impossible for us to do so. At long
last I will be able to enjoy riding further afield again."
Shenfield added, "Originally I was pressing for either a bridge
or a tunnel which would have been the best option. I did have some
concerns about this crossing but now that I have seen what has been
done those concerns have been mostly put to rest. The Highways Agency
has listened carefully to our suggestions and in the main have carried
them out. It was obvious that knowledgeable equestrian input was
essential in the planning of this crossing and we will watch to
see how it works over the next initial months of operation."
Highways Agency has produced a leaflet to explain about the crossing
and this will be made available in local tack shops, feed merchants,
and in the Towcester Town Hall and Library.
to the crossing are wide and well surfaced with post and rail
fencing. There is a set of crossing lights for each carriageway
and the corral allows horses to wait safely on the central reservation,
shielded from the traffic by substantial fencing. The lights
are monitored by CCTV cameras which operate in 'real-time' whenever
the buttons are pressed to activate the green crossing lights.
can operate the lights without dismounting, although there are
separate buttons for anyone leading a horse or pony, and detectors
are built into the signals to ensure they stay green until horses
are safely across the carriageway.