A horse broke my bike - anything I can do?


I was cycling along Hall road - on the left-hand side of traffic as if there was a bike lane - and passed a parade of horses. I might have been too close, but thought it would be ok. Anyway, one of the horses kicked me and my bike. 

I got by with a few bruises but my steel frame is bent. I have asked at the bike shop and it will cost £200-300 to repair.

I asked Westminster council if they could provide any reimbursement - my view is the horses should not be using public roads if they aren't comfortable with regular road traffic - but they have replied saying it is illegal to pass on the left hand side and horses have every right to be using the road (they quoted the highway code).

Do I have any ground to pursue this?



Sorry to hear about your experience. I recommend you call Levenes, LCC's recommended solicitors:

www.levenes.co.uk, 0800 118899

I don't want to sound unsympathetic because I wasn't in your situation but, personally, I treat horses much as I would young children: I slow right down and give them as much space as possible - by which I mean several metres.

And btw, it certainly is not illegal for a bike to pass slow-moving or stationary traffic on the left. Speak to a solicitor and find out if you have a case.

You coud also check home/household/contents insurance policy - if you insure you/your bike under the all-risks section of your home contents, for example, there may be some cover.

Hi - sorry to hear about the accident.

However my take on this is one of fairness: just like some motorists claim that bikes shouldn't be on the road, I'm concerned about your claim that horses shouldn't be allowed. I think this is a warning to us all to give plenty of room when passing.

  • By Austen at 7:35pm 18 October 2011

What did the rider do?  Keep on riding or stop and see if you were OK?  Did you report it to the cops?  Sounds like you need a good lawyer, and one who can make sense of the following advice

If your bike had been damaged by a car, you would need to pursue the driver, not the highway authority. In this case you need to take this up with the horse rider, not Westminster City Council. I'm sorry to hear about the incident.



If the horse kicked out just once, rather than the rider really losing control - then I don't think you have any claim.

You "think [you] may have been too close" - you almost certainly were if you were on the inside as the horses I've seen around London are usually ridden two abreast and fairly close to the kerb.

If you were in a car you'd stay behind unless you could overtake with a huge gap - same applies to other road users.

None of us have a right to "be in front of" any other road user - too few people seem to realise this.

"None of us have a right to "be in front of" any other road user - too few people seem to realise this."

except at an ASL, where NO motorists seem to realise this.

- but even then there is no right to get to the ASL "at all costs" eg undertaking HGVs when the lights might change any second - or going past horses if you cannot leave plenty of room...............  the "right" applies once you can get there SAFELY.

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