Please see below press release from Isle of Wight Council.
Horse, pedal and foot power are joining forces with the creation of a multi-user path between Newchurch and Langbridge.
The release of part of the Newport to Sandown cycle track NC9 from a covenant preventing horse use means riders, cyclists and walkers are now able to share the path. Previously, horse riders had to use the road network to bypass this section to access the rest of the nearby bridleway network.
“This has been a great example of partnership working that highlights that if people are willing to work together, we can improve connectivity and safety for vulnerable users like cyclists and horse riders,” said Councillor John Hobart, Cabinet member for environment and heritage.
“This dedication has enabled the council to fund improvements to make a safe off-road route for all users, avoiding traffic on the road network.”
The council’s Rights of Way team worked closely with IW Bridleways Group, cycling action group Cyclewight, local Island contractors Mark Taylor of Taylor and Taylor Ground Works and Pete Faithful of Peter Faithful Quality Timber, and local ward councillor, Clare Mosdell, who helped gain the approval of the adjoining landowner, Mr and Mrs Stevens.
“The council is happy to work with landowners to have more permissive footpaths, bridleways and cycle tracks as this helps encourage not only tourism but also general health and well-being for the public. As Cabinet member for public health, I will do as much possible to work with Councillor Hobart and any landowners who wish to approach us with schemes,” said Councillor Clare Mosdell, Cabinet member for adult social care and public health.
“I would personally like to thank Mrs Stevens for everything she has done to ensure horse riders in the Newchurch area are now using a safer route.”
Sheila Weedall, president of IOW Bridleways Group, said: “The section of path is a great addition to the network and now allows horse riders to share the multi user route and keeps them off-road. It has been a good team effort by all involved and shows what can be achieved when working together.”
Improvement works were carried out jointly between the council Rights of Way team and the local contractors, who removed a low barrier separating walkers and cyclists to make one wide multi-user path and repaired fencing.