Agriculture Bill

Written evidence submitted by Claudine Russell (AB56)

Dear Committee members

Re: House of Commons Public Bill Committee call for evidence on the Agriculture Bill 2017-19 (HC Bill 266) - published on 12 September 2018

I am writing to support the payment for public good within the Agriculture Bill - specifically the inclusion of countryside access.

My experience and evidence is:-

I am 40 years old and live in the low weald area of Kent. I regularly walk, run, cycle and horse ride on the rights of way and minor road network in the parish of Marden. I often accompany children, young people and friends who may be on a combination of foot, bikes or ponies with the odd dog or two.

My activities are generally confined to the minor road network whilst on horseback as we are not allowed to use the footpaths and we have no byways or bridleways in our area.

Our area is being heavily developed with new housing being built all around us and the increased development along with the increased use of home delivery vehicles mean that all of the minor roads are now very busy, fast and too dangerous to take all but the most saintliest of horse along. This is the same for cyclists.

We have an extensive network of footpaths in the area and we would really appreciate some thought given in the planning process to upgrade some of these existing footpaths to multi user paths, byways or bridleways. We could then travel more safely around Marden village and the surrounds.

Please can I urge the Committee to support the inclusion of subsidy payments for permanent countryside access within the provisions of the Agriculture Bill. Sharing routes and creating new routes where needed and to help users cross dangerous roads, has to be the way forward.

Yours sincerely

Claudine Russell

November 2018


Prepared 13th November 2018