Police horses undergo training to avoid being spooked by 'woke' colourful crossings

31 March 2022, 14:48 | Updated: 31 March 2022, 15:07

Horses are getting spooked by the bright colours of the colourful crossings
Horses are getting spooked by the bright colours of the colourful crossings. Picture: Met Police Taskforce

By Emma Soteriou

Police horses are being given specialist training so they aren't spooked by colourful crossings which have been criticised as a 'waste of time and money'.

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The crossings are part of a worldwide Asphalt Art project to "revitalise public space" but have caused problems since their introduction to some major London roads, including one at Tottenham Court Road.

The Metropolitan Police has said its horses are now undergoing training in order for them to cope with walking over the brightly-coloured crossings.

The Met Police Taskforce tweeted: "Something we hadn't expected was that some of the horses are getting spooked by the bright colours of the Colourful Crossings project and other road markings in Central London.

"To enable us to ride and patrol safely we had training versions installed.

"With help from @gevekomarkings who donated our new Bright Training crossings, we can get the horses used to them before riding them out in public.

"A misconception is that horses only see in black and white.

"They may not see colour the way we do, but they are not 'colour blind'.

"Therefore, the differing shades and patterns of a colourful crossing could suggest an obstacle in the road, causing a horse to shy from something that we, as humans do not see.

"This eliminates risk to public, motorists or distress to our horses."

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One Twitter user responded saying: "A complete waste of the five officers time and taxpayers money.

"Motorists and cyclists would prefer the budget was spent on repairing the roads."

Another person said: "In our efforts to be as woke as possible, we didn't actually bother to think about any foreseeable consequences to our actions."

Margaret Brown tweeted: "Virtue Signalling nonsense, that's costing us tax payers a fortune.

"They are completely unnecessary, serve no purpose what so ever, are causing no end of problems, but Sadiq Khan and his little pals that signed off on them are busy patting themselves on the back no doubt. Idiots."

The colourful crossings have received criticism for being difficult for visually impaired people to negotiate.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was previously forced to pause the rollout for safety and accessibility reasons.

One social media user said Guide dogs were also confused by the crossings, warning it "could lead to a terrible accident".