A NEW bridleway crossing over a busy section of the A171 near Aislaby is providing a safe route for horse riders in the North York Moors.

The woodland around Aislaby, to the west of Whitby, provides popular routes for many people, whether travelling by two legs or four. However, until now, the vast network of public rights of way has been divided by the busy A171.

Following more than three months’ work, the new crossing features a ‘holding area’ for horses, allowing riders to wait safely for an opportunity to cross. In addition, a section of the bridleway leading to the crossing has been diverted, now passing through woodland rather than along the road. National Park Rangers and volunteers assisted with the project by replacing gates and signage, and clearing vegetation to improve sight lines along the road.

Naomi Green, senior ranger, said: “This is a great achievement and we’re very proud to be able to offer a safe crossing point for such a wide variety of users. More than two miles of connecting public bridleway has been significantly improved this area, with more work planned in the near future.”

William Tait, chairman of Ryedale Bridleways group, added: “Ryedale Bridleways group is delighted with the new crossing. The A171 is a busy and fast road and the original crossing was poor, it was not direct and meant riding down the road to reach the opposite bridleway.

“This was daunting and dangerous and meant many riders purposely avoided this route. I hope all users will take full advantage of this new and safer crossing.

“We thank all those involved in making such a good job of what was a difficult task.”