Calls to improve safety on North Yorkshire road after 'very nasty accident' involving racehorse and lorry


A horrific accident involving a top racehorse and a lorry has resulted in calls for action to improve safety in a problem North Yorkshire road.

Thursday, 27th August 2020, 11:52 am Updated Thursday, 27th August 2020, 11:54 am Bazeley’s Lane in Norton

The horse was being taken on Bazley’s Lane, Norton-on-Derwent, to its home at Whitewall Stables when it was “spooked” by a large lorry driving down the narrow lane. Mark Campion, a leading trainer of National Hunt and flat-racing horses who runs the long-established stables, said it had been “a very nasty accident which could have resulted in a fatality”.

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The driver of the truck had been badly shaken and the horse, said Mr Campion, had received cuts after falling into the verge. “All we want is to be able to take our horses to and from the gallops in safety. We have had previous accidents but none as serious as this one.”

His son, Arthur who had been escorting the horse, had “the presence of mind” to capture the horse despite it falling on him after slipping down the bank side. “Arthur saw the truck and the horse took fright. Both he and the horse were phenomenally lucky” The horse suffered cuts from which it has now recovered, and Arthur also received injuries.

Mr Campion said the road,which has been the subject of previous concerns by the town council, is also an officially recognised used bridleway. Coun David Lloyd-Williams echoed the concerns. “Articulated lorries are not supposed to go down the lane. Because it has blind corners and is a difficult route,” he said.

Coun Di Keal suggested that rising bollards should be installed in the road to make it safer for horses and riders and other members said “No through signs” should be erected and the possibility of a barrier being installed which could be removed in an emergency. The British Horse Racing Authority and police have been involved in helping to resolve the access problems to Whitewall and Norton’s County and Ryedale councillor, Keane Duncan, is now asking the County Council highway engineers to explore solutions. Mr Campion, a trainer for National Hunt and flat-racing horses has run the historicly successful Whitewall Stables for many years after learning his trade at stud farms and racing yards in Australia, Kentucky, Ireland, France and the UK.

Richard Marr, highways area manager for North Yorkshire County Council, said: “Bazeley’s Lane has a 7.5t weight restriction. There is clear signage in place to inform drivers of vehicles exceeding this weight to avoid this route. Unfortunately, there are times when drivers break the law and serious accidents occur.

Our officers are also looking at whether the signage could be made even more visible.” ———————–

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