HC Deb 05 February 1963 vol 671 cc218-9
25. Sir C. Taylor

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he has yet considered the proposals of the National Parks Commission for the planning of a long distance route suitable both for walkers and horse riders, leading from the western outskirts of Eastbourne along the South Downs to the Sussex-Hampshire border near South Harting, with the possible extension at a later date as far as Winchester; and whether it will be possible to use this in the summer of this year.

Mr. Corfield

My right hon. Friend is considering the proposals. For much of its length the route is over existing footpaths, which can be walked already. Public rights for some 9 miles of bridle-ways need to be created. This is not likely to be done by this summer.

Sir C. Taylor

Can my hon. Friend say for how long this consideration will go on?

Mr. Corfield

It is only three weeks since we had the full details on which to consider the case. I do not expect that the consideration will take very long, but the procedure for creating the necessary bridleways and footpaths is a somewhat lengthy process, and that is why I do not expect that it will be ready by the summer.

Sir W. Teeling

Does my hon. Friend realise that this applies very much to pony clubs? When he considers the distance from Eastbourne to Winchester, will he bear in mind that there are many councils which do not enforce the rules, which are not compulsory, to make sure that pony clubs are properly supervised? Will he therefore make certain that, before anything is done about this, everything is done to ensure that the ponies are properly fed and looked after over this long distance?

Mr. Corfield

I do not think that the feeding of ponies comes under the National Parks Commission in this context.