A NATIONAL equestrian charity is calling for a reduction in the national speed limit.

A new report, entitled Conspicuity of horses and riders on the road, was conducted by Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), who were commissioned by the British Horse Society (BHS) charity.

The BHS said that they requested the report due to “a lack of evidence-based research currently available about what horse riders should do to protect themselves”.

According to the BHS in the last year there has been a 29 per cent increase in accidents involving horses on Britain’s roads.

Since the BHS launched their horse accidents website, more than 2,510 incidents have been reported to them; 222 horses have died and 38 riders have lost their lives.

The TRL report recommends that speed limits on roads with significant horse and rider activity should be reduced as “it is unwise to have drivers travelling at 60mph on roads that are routinely and regularly used by horse riders”.

It also recommends that riders should wear LED lights, ideally in a pattern that highlights the body of the horse and rider, along with bright and reflective high-visibility clothing.

Alan Hiscox, director of safety at the BHS, said: “We want to reduce the number of incidents involving riders and horses on the road. Roads are getting busier, and we have seen an increase in incidents in the last year, something has to be done.

“This report recommends reducing the national speed limit on rural roads, where there is frequent equestrian activity; it could save the lives of both the horse and rider, and other vulnerable road users.”

The full report can be read on the BHS website, bhs.org.uk