Illegal claims over cycle track in Leith Hill

Mountain bike
Image caption The trail is closed until the investigation is completed, the council has said.

Calls are being made for an independent inspector to decide whether a recently built cycle track in Surrey is illegal.

The trail at Leith Hill was constructed by Surrey County Council but it has not yet opened because of the complaint.

The British Horse Society said the path is too close to existing bridleways and the potential combination of horses and cyclists could be fatal.

The council said if the society was to take the matter to the planning inspectorate it would comply fully.

Bob Milton, from the society, said the path was illegal and that the authority had not carried out adequate consultation.

He said: "It has been constructed, it impedes access and it is on a common."

'Happily co-existing'

He said there was clear guidance from the planning inspectorate that had not been followed.

In a statement, Surrey County Council said it was waiting for Mr Milton to confirm whether he wanted it to investigate his complaint.

It added: "Should he decide to take the matter to the planning inspectorate we will co-operate fully with any inquiry.

"In the meantime we have made a request to the landowners for the trail to remain closed for the duration of any investigation."

Julie Rand, from the national cycling charity CTC, based in Guildford, said: "There are bridleways and tracks all over Surrey that are quite happily co-existing at the moment without too much anguish and they respect each other.

"People are anticipating problems that may not actually arise."

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