A teenage horserider has teamed up with the British Horse Society to campaign for a safe crossing at a notorious junction on Otley Road, Baildon.
Schoolgirl Rebekah Tinsley is backing plans for a so-called “Puffin” crossing at the point where riders brave the fast road to reach Buck Lane and Baildon Moor beyond.
And she has joined forces with local BHS Access and Bridleways officer Christine Hardaker to get a set of motion-sensitive traffic lights installed as soon as possible.
“It‘s really difficult to cross Otley Road, and even the best horse will get restless stood waiting for ages,” said Guiseley High School pupil Rebekah, 15.
“My horse Sparky is only four, but he is sensible and I do wear a hi-vis tabard, but it would be just so much safer and more sensible to have a crossing,” Rebekah said.
Mrs Hardaker said Otley Road was often so heavy with traffic and just one error by horse, rider, or car driver could cause a terrible accident.
“It is a very dangerous road and we were keen to get what is called a “Pegasus” crossing, which is specially designed with high buttons for the rider to press.
“But they also need high barriers to fence horses off from pedestrians – and that’s not possible to fit on Buck Lane because it’s so narrow.
“So a Puffin crossing appears to be the best thing. The movement of an approaching horse or car activates the traffic lights,” she explained.
“We have had a traffic engineer to the site and now we are waiting to hear what the cost would be – then we’ll have to look for funding,” Mrs Hardaker said.
She said Buck Lane was also a favourite route for bike riders and she had approached national cyclists’ associations who seem interested in the project. The idea already has the backing of Baildon councillor Debbie Davies (Con), who said horseriders had the right to safety on the roads.
“This is a very interesting idea and anything that makes riding to and from Buck Lane safer would be a good thing,” said Coun Davies.