BRIDGES over a Hampshire railway line have been equipped with a safer surface.

The scheme has been implemented by Hampshire County Council in a bid to prevent any accidents involving walkers, roaming livestock and people riding through the Forest on horseback.

Bridges serving three tracks across the line through the New Forest have been resurfaced using high traction strips.

Cllr Andrew Gibson, the county council’s executive member for culture, recreation and countryside, said the work was backed by county horse and countryside groups.

He said: “A very good job has been done on resurfacing these bridges, which were a potential hazard - particularly for horse riders and for commoners whose livestock graze the area.

“The new high traction strips are extremely durable and provide users - even shod horses - with a non-slip surface while they cross the bridges.

“As a county council we have responsibility for public access and enjoyment of the outdoors - making the most of the county’s fantastic countryside and giving a boost to people’s health and wellbeing.

“We’d like to thank New Forest Equestrian Association, the British Horse Society, the Forestry Commission, the New Forest National Park Authority and the Verderers for their support on this project.”

The resurfaced bridges are between Brockenhurst and Ashurst. They are at Deerleap Inclosure near Ashurst, Black Down near Beaulieu Road station and Perrywood Inclosure near Brockenhurst.