ANOTHER motorist has hit a stray horse on a country road near York – just as councillors prepared to discuss plans to tackle the problem of tethered horses.

The 50-year-old van driver, from Acomb , who preferred not to be identified, told The Press how he only saw the black and white horse at the last second as he was driving along the road between Holtby and York late on Monday evening.

He said he swerved to avoid it but it clipped the side of the van, denting and scratching it and damaging the mirror.

“But if there had been something coming the other way, I would have been killed, and if I hadn’t swerved, it would have come through the window.

“I was very shaken up and couldn’t sleep a wink last night.” He also suspected he would now lose his no claims bonus. North Yorkshire Police confirmed the accident was reported.

The accident was the third involving tethered horses which have strayed into the road in the York area this year.

David Hughes, chairman of Holtby Parish Council, said: “We are very, very disturbed and annoyed about the horses and the lack of effort by City of York Council to deal with the problem,” he said. “We in the village are just waiting for a fatality.”

Independent Osbaldwick councillor Mark Warters, claimed there had been “absolutely scandalous” prevarication by the authority which was putting more lives at risk, particularly as the nights drew in.

“I believe that if someone dies after striking one of these horses, there could be a case for corporate manslaughter against the authority,” he said.

Members of the council’s community safety scrutiny committee were being updated last night on progress in dealing with such problems.

Steve Waddington, assistant director of housing and community safety, said beforehand that it was working with police, landowners, the RSPCA and the National Farmers’ Union to develop a policy and procedure to address the problem, including alternative grazing options, working with owners on the number of horses that they kept and an enforcement policy.

“These proposals will be presented to the council decision-making session for the cabinet member for crime and stronger sommunities shortly.”