Bridleway Resurfacing Stopped in its Tracks

Works to resurface the bridleway that runs from Gillotts Lane corner behind Makins Road, Blandy Road down to Peppard Lane with black tarmac has been stopped this week.

The work was due to start on Monday (7 October) and would have taken 6 weeks to complete.

The British Horse Society had now been involved and the planned work has been postponed pending a decision.  A resident of Blandy Road raised his objection at the Henley Town Council Full Council meeting this week and asked why the public had not been consulted.

County Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak at the meeting stated he had not previously been aware of the scheme, but that it formed part of the planning obligations on the Highlands Park development. He also stated that although there would be no formal consultation from the
County Council, he would contact local residents and the Town Council to seek their views, once a solution had been found.

The Highlands Park development planning application also included traffic calming measures along Gillotts Lane in the form of three priority build-outs, extension of pavements from the development along Greys Road and improvements along the route to Valley Road Primary
School in the form of resurfacing and the installation of dropped kerbs (currently being installed).

What do you think?  Please leave your comments below.


  1. Sarah Read says:

    Tarmacadam on a bridle way will render it extremely dangerous to use for horses and effectively obstruct this right of way for horse riders. Horses often slip on tarmac roads, the fine grade often used for footpaths would be extremely slippery for any shod horse even when dry. Whoever decided on this surface clearly did not recognise this as a bridlepath.

    • Lostantipod says:

      I have been using that “bridle way” as a regular jogging route for 10 years. Number of horses seen? Zero. None. Nada. Zip. Nil. And what happens when you reach the henley end of it? It’s a road. You know , tarmac. So it can’t be used today without riding on tarmac to get there. This handwringing by horse enthusiasts is completely ridiculous.
      And, many sections are a bog from November to March. I don’t know if tarmac is the right answer but it deserves taking care of.

    • Vivienne McNamara says:

      I totally agree that resurfacing with tarmac on a bridleway is totally unsuitable and could be dangerous. This seems a waste of resources on a footpath that is perfectly usable by riders and walkers alike throughout the year, in all weather. The only work needing to be done appears to be a cutting back of the hedgerows, a far lesser cost I believe

  2. Gail Rosier says:

    The tarmac on the grass verges looks hideous and out of place. This was essentially beautiful countryside now looking more and more like urbanisation.

  3. Fiona Powell says:

    Just because you haven’t seen a horse doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t any riders using it (although I’m guessing you’d have seen evidence!) And horses might want to use it in the future so making this route horse-unfriendly shouldn’t be an option without change of use.
    Why didn’t someone consult with other authorities before making the decision about a viable surface for all users?
    A lack of process?
    About 72% of cyclists are male, 85% are female (Sport England and BHS figures) and it’s not fair to discriminate against a specific group, in my opinion. Horses (and light horse drawn carriages) need safe off-road routes (away from motorised traffic). Carriages can take families and disabled people into the countryside, to places where they couldn’t typically go, too.
    Some tarmac surfaces are worse than others – and we have to share roads: I don’t think we’d get them changed!
    Thanks for letting me comment.

  4. Andrew says:

    Destroying this lovely historical bridalway is a disgusting idea, the stone and flint construction has been solid for decades without need for maintenance. Why waste tax payers money on something that isn’t broken, for something that will then need ongoing repairs, lighting etc. What next, Peppard lane! before we know it we have another access road to the school land.


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