Agriculture Bill

Written evidence submitted by Sally Crone, Committee Member of Essex Bridleways Association (AB31)

2.1 My name is Sally Crone. I am a Committee Member of Essex Bridleways Association and a keen horse-rider. The provision of safe places to horse ride and carriage drive is imperative. Since 2010, 43 people and 315 horses have died on our roads. Increasing off road access opportunities is vitally important to enable vulnerable road users to exercise off the road and thereby save lives.

2.2 I have an interest in clause 1(1) (b) in the Bill relating to public access: ‘supporting public access to and enjoyment of the countryside, farmland or woodland and better understanding of the environment’. Also in Ch 1 (1) (5).

4. My concerns with the wording contained in the current Agriculture Bill

4.1 The clause in Chapter 1(1) (b) in the Bill relating to public access: ‘supporting public access to and enjoyment of the countryside, farmland or woodland and better understanding of the environment’ is vague.

4.2 I would like to see the clause read:-

supporting public access on a cohesive modern rights of way network to and around the countryside, including improved access to farm land, woodland and open space for the purpose of healthy green active sustainable travel, leisure, recreation and sporting opportunities and enjoyment and improved understanding of environment, landscape, food and farming.’

4.3 Similarly an explanation of public access provision (as a public good to be paid for by the public) needs to be provided in Chapter 1 (1) (5) I suggest this amendment ‘public access means public access on the public rights of way network (to include both the existing network and any rights of way upgraded or created as public goods) and improved public rights of access to farmland, woodland and open space.’

Conclusion

I respectfully request the Scrutiny Committee to recognise and prioritise the value of permanent multi user public access via the rights of way network and additional multi use access to open space and new and existing woodland and to amend the wording of the bill to reflect this.

February 2020

 

Prepared 25th February 2020