The BHS has condemned the decision and has said that it puts “horse riders at increasing risk on England’s roads”.
“The British Horse Society (BHS) is extremely disappointed to learn that the UK Government has broken its commitment to abolishing the 2026 deadline for saving vital off-road routes,” said a BHS spokesman.
“This decision will mean such routes across England will be lost for ever, resulting in even more restrictions when it comes to accessing the countryside.
“For horse riders, who currently have access to just 22% of the rights of way network, this decision will be particularly damaging. In 2022 alone, 68 horses were killed on Britain’s roads and 139 riders injured, therefore the protection of safe off-road routes is critical to make sure equestrians remain safe.”