Shock bridleway closure over electrical safety fear

Stoke Lane, Great Brickill...... (Google Street View)
Stoke Lane, Great Brickill...... (Google Street View)
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A bridleway remains closed after Halloween took a sinister turn when two riders claimed their horses mysteriously received electric shocks.

The riders, whose names are unknown, were travelling down Stoke Lane, Great Brickhill during the run up to October 31, when they thought the animals were being shocked.

After receiving reports, Bucks County Council closed the bridleway and had Western Power, who supply the area via an overhead network, attend the scene.

However, Western Power couldn’t find any link with their equipment nor any cables or equipment along the bridleway.

A spokesman for Transport for Bucks said: “We can confirm that the route of Bridleway Number 9 in Great Brickhill is currently closed under an emergency closure order, which was applied following a report from a member of the public concerned that local riders had complained that, whilst riding the route, their horses had exhibited actions associated with them receiving an electrical shock.

“Transport for Buckinghamshire’s Rights of Way Operations are currently investigating the reports, but have had to initially close the route in order to safeguard the public whilst investigations are under way. A network supplier has confirmed that there are no network cables in the ground along or across the route, but it is possible that there may be an unknown private local supply.

“Our enquiries so far have not confirmed the presence of any cables under the route, but our investigations will involve scanning the area involved with a cable detection device, which should be done in the next few days.

“If nothing is found then the route will be reopened, but we will continue to monitor the situation.”

Mark Stasiuk, landscape contractor and the LBO’s local correspondent for Great Brickhill, said: “I’ve worked on farms since I was a kiddy and had a thought that it might just be a private electric fence that shorted and the horses heard it go ‘crack’.

“The fence might have rubbed against a wet leaf. It is only conjecture but in my opinion it’s probably the reality of what happened. The fence isn’t dangerous – it’s just doing it’s job.

“I know the closure is inconvenient for one farmer who uses the bridleway to access his cattle.”