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Will Quiet Lanes project slow down drivers on Suffolk’s rural roads?

PUBLISHED: 07:30 01 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:36 01 October 2020

More rural roads in Suffolk could be designated quiet lanes. Picture: JAMES BASS

More rural roads in Suffolk could be designated quiet lanes. Picture: JAMES BASS

A six-figure sum has been announced to designate more roads in Suffolk as quiet lanes – roads where motorists must use additional caution.

Suffolk cabinet member for highways Andrew Reid said the Quiet Lanes designations would help support cyclists and pedestrians. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCILSuffolk cabinet member for highways Andrew Reid said the Quiet Lanes designations would help support cyclists and pedestrians. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Quiet lanes are those nationally designated as single track roads with less than 1,000 vehicles using them per day, often used by cyclists, pedestrians and those riding horses in rural areas.

It means motorists must drive with additional caution such as slower speeds.

Suffolk already has 13 quiet lanes in seven parishes across East Suffolk, with 10 trial lanes also identified in Snape, Bentley and Glemsford.

MORE: County council announces Suffolk 2020 Fund

Now, Suffolk County Council has announced £235,000 from its Suffolk 2020 Fund – a one-off pot set up for projects this year – to encourage town and parish councils to apply for potential quiet lanes in their area.

Robert Lindsay from Suffolk County Council's Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group, said speed limits on rural roads needed reducing.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNRobert Lindsay from Suffolk County Council's Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group, said speed limits on rural roads needed reducing. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Conservative cabinet member for highways at the county council, Andrew Reid, said: “I am really pleased Quiet Lanes Suffolk has been granted funding from Suffolk County Council’s 2020 Fund.

“I was a supporter of the scheme when it first launched back in 2014, and today more than ever, we need to do all that we can to help residents consider more active forms of travel and take daily exercise.

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“The Quiet Lanes scheme allows residents in our rural communities to be active – safely and easily.

“We are asking all road users to be aware, and expect to find walkers, cyclists and horse riders using Quiet Lanes, to respect the use of the road, to travel with that extra care, and to make Quiet Lanes a safe and pleasant place for residents and visitors alike.”

Communities will be able to register their eligible roads, after which the Quiet Lanes Suffolk team will carry out detailed analysis.

But the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group at the county council said the proposals do not go far enough.

Councillor Robert Lindsay said: “While any funding that encourages more walking, cycling and better driver behaviour is a good thing, there is a danger that this limited funding is just another excuse from the council leaders to not tackle the real problem: that the speed limits on our rural roads are just too high.

“I’m not surprised communities are seizing this opportunity, in the absence of any other serious investment from the county council in road safety in the countryside.

“Sixty miles per hour is madness on a narrow, twisting country lane, but rather than tackle the problem themselves, Suffolk County Council leadership appear to be passing the buck to communities and parish councils.”

Visit the website here to find out more about existing routes.


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