Horse riders are in favour of the bridleway and suggest that it will be used to provide access for wheel chair users. So I asked for comments from wheel chair users to get their perspective. A response is published below (with the writer’s permission)
Subject: Bridleways and wheelchairs
Caught your query on wheelchairs and bridleways, re Chadkirk. Your colleague is right, re the undesirable nature of sharing a bridleway and wheeling though piles of ordure. Although dog dirt beats everything for stink, horse poo comes a close second.
The problem seems to be the vast quantity produced by a horse and the fact that dog owners have to pick up from their dogs while there is no law re horses and owners. I often see huge piles on the Middlewood way and sometimes it is hard for a chair to avoid it.
On a bridleway it is not quite so visible either.
It gets squashed flat by hoards of cyclists but lies there for months as a thin layer across the path and whenever it rains it sticks to the wheels of a wheelchair. As the wheels are rotating on a manual wheelchair it comes up to the sleeve cuffs, which are across the wheel when pushing the rims and then, before you know it, your clothes and hands are stinking.
You are welcome to pass on this email to someone who is looking at the suggestion that horses and wheelchairs are going to be happy sharing.
Oh, and another thing. Horses are often spooked by things they have not seen before. Even if a wheelchair user immediately sits still, on sight of a horse, the horse seems to get very nervous and start stamping and even rearing. It is pretty scary for the wheelchair user that can’t get out of the way of a horse that is behaving like this and also upsetting and dangerous for a rider that can’t control the horse – mostly young riders.