Save Our Stables! Train noise could shut riding club

Children at under-threat Wendlebury Gate Stables
Children at under-threat Wendlebury Gate Stables

A family-run horse riding club is facing closure because thundering high-speed trains will drown out important safety calls from instructors.

Wendlebury Gate Stables puts on 4,000 riding lessons a year but a study has found noise levels from the upgraded line could lead to five serious or fatal injuries a year.

This is too dangerous and we could have to close the riding school”

John Offord

The Langford Lane club has launched a petition to place a noise barrier between the track and the riding arena before seven high-speed trains an hour begin shooting past from September.

Closure would mean the loss of 15 jobs and depriving dozens of children and adults the chance to ride horses.

John Offord has looked after the paddocks for 25 years and his daughter Hazel runs the stables.

He said: “We hope to survive. Network Rail are just trampling on anyone that get in their way.

“We’re not against the line, we just want to be able to live and work along side it.

“If we do not have an effective noise barrier then the train noise will stop riders hearing instructors.

“This is too dangerous and we would have to close the riding school. Even if we didn’t, then our licencing authority would close us.

“Network Rail have done nothing about it and with only six months, there’s no certainty it will be completed in time.”

The stables has written to Network Rail boss Mark Carne, the secretary of state for transport and even to the Archbishop of Canterbury ‘begging’ him to speak to Mr Carne.

In the stables’ letter to the Archbishop, it said: “If you are to preach morality to anyone I hope it could start at the top. What hope is there if this is the example set by government?”

Visit www.wgriding.co.uk and follow the link to the petition.