Newmarket's most dangerous horse crossings finally made safer after Jockey Club and Suffolk Highways upgrade scheme
Two new sets of traffic lights designed to improve safety for riders, horses and motorists are now operational in Newmarket’s Barbara Stradbroke Avenue.
The light-controlled crossings, one close to the Rowley Mile entrance and the other near the July course roundabout, are among only a handful in Newmarket still to be across a road governed by a 60mph limit. They now provide a safe crossing for horses and riders using two key parts of the town’s training grounds, The Links schooling grounds and the Cambridge Road Polytrack gallop, and are the latest phase in a programme jointly funded by Jockey Club Estates and Suffolk Highways designed to upgrade the town’s 17 horse crossings.
The collaborative approach began last year with the start of a 12-month long trial of a new non-slip rubber surface. It was installed on the Bury Road and Moulton Road crossings in the summer and is being monitored from the perspective of both horse and rider safety and its durability.
The next phase of the project, once approved, will combine the installation of the highways-approved surface, with upgraded horse crossings, in and around the town.
These will involve two types of crossing: one known as Pegasus crossings, with red, amber and green lights, while Active crossings use flashing signs to warn drivers in advance when horses are crossing.
Nick Patton, managing director of Jockey Club Estates, said: “With the help of our transport consultant, Mike Cottee, and through liaison with Suffolk County Council, together we have produced a masterplan to address all of the horse crossings and bring them up to a consistent standard, making them safer for horses, riders, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
“This is an important project and we are delighted to be working with Suffolk Highways on upgrading Newmarket’s horse crossings,” he added.
“No matter how good our gallops and facilities are, if the 2,500 horses trained in Newmarket cannot get across town safely, we are not delivering on our objective of being a recognised centre of excellence and a world class training centre.”
Carl Ashton, transport policy and development manager at Suffolk County Council, said: “We are delighted to see the completion of these two new crossings in Newmarket, this is another key step towards improving the safety of Newmarket’s horse crossings.”