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Horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians invited to Ride 72 to encourage motorists to Pass Wide & Slow

HORSE riders, cyclists and walkers are being urged to join a protest march next weekend to highlight the dangers they face on the roads.

Jodie Sloane (36) is inviting people to take part in the five-mile route around Burton, Winkton and Sopley on Sunday 18th September as part of the nationwide Pass Wide & Slow movement.

Jodie, a building administrator and Burton & Winkton parish councillor, is a rider herself and was spurred on to organise the event after witnessing and being involved in several near-misses and collisions.

Jodie Sloane with Boo
Jodie Sloane with Boo

“Literally every time I ride a horse out there’s always something – always a car going too fast or too close,” she told the A&T.

“You get a lot of tailgaters. I don’t know why, because I don’t think a pony sitting on their bonnet would be ideal – they cause a lot of damage!”

Jodie has ridden since she was 21 and currently owns two horses, Juno and Boo.

She uses a British Horse Society app to log any incidents involving other road users and, like others, also wear body cameras.

She recalled an incident from earlier this year while she rode Juno along the 30mph Burley Road in Winkton, with her mother walking alongside.

“This woman driver was coming up behind us and you could hear the speed as she approached,” she said.

“I turned round and signalled for her to slow down, using the correct arm signal – up and down in slow motion.

“But she made no attempt to slow down and sped past us. She then slammed her brakes on in front of us and hurled abuse at us through her window.”

Jodie also told how a car driven too close behind a friend in Sopley clipped the back of her pony, throwing her off and causing the animal to flee. Although shaken, both were unhurt.

Changes to the Highway Code in January, reported in the A&T, say motorists should leave a width of at least two metres when overtaking horse riders and pedestrians and one-and-a-half metres when passing cyclists.

Pointing out some other motorists – usually older people – put their hazard lights on and slowly pass, Jodie wished more would do this.

Her campaign began when she was furloughed during the Covid lockdowns and, with her graphic designer boyfriend Kevin Willsher, created 10 awareness posters.

One of these was the Passometer, which used cartoons to emphasise the safe way for motorists to overtake horse riders. It has been shared 40,000 times on social media.

They have continued to design campaign material for the Pass Wide and Slow movement.

People can register on the day for Ride 72, a 5.2-mile route taking in Burton, Winkton and Sopley.

The group meets at The Lamb Inn car park in Burley Road, Winkton, at 9am to set off at 9.30am.

Posters and leaflets will be available, and the local PCSO is expected to hand out goody bags to children while providing advice.

Hoping for a successful event, Jodie said: “If I can get just a few attitudes to change towards horse riders, cyclists and walkers then I’ll feel like the day has done exactly what I meant it to do.”

For more information visit fb.me/e/111sz2SLn

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