Suffolk launches Quiet Lanes for residents to enjoy as lockdown eases

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Proposed route to cover over 300 miles of Suffolk countryside.

Quiet lanes Snape

Quiet lanes Snape

Just two weeks away from being able to meet friends and family outdoors, Suffolk County Council is encouraging residents to explore more of the beautiful countryside on their doorstep through its Quiet Lanes initiative.

As we move into spring, we are all keen to get outside and make the most of the weather. Quiet Lanes is a nationally recognised designation for narrow, rural roads which can be shared with walkers, horse riders, cyclists and other road users. It encourages drivers to take their time when they see the Quiet Lanes sign, so we can all enjoy rural lanes with greater safety.

Quiet Lanes at Snape and Glemsford have just achieved planning consent and the initiative has another 50 proposed lanes going through planning for April 2021. A new website allowing residents to find the Quiet Lanes near them will be available in May.

Councillor Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, says:

“This is a fantastic sustainable initiative aimed at opening up more of our countryside for leisure and recreation activities and active travel. Quiet Lanes are a precious resource on many of our doorsteps. Now with this recognition, we will encourage residents to make more use of the countryside around them rather than always getting in the car, and reap the associated health and environmental benefits.”

Councillor James Mallinder, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for the Environment, and Councillor Norman Brooks, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Transport, say:

“We’re really pleased to be launching the county initiative in East Suffolk as Quiet Lanes help to preserve the character of country lanes, reduce traffic and speed, and encourage drivers to be more mindful of non-motorist road users, thereby encouraging more journeys on foot or bike. Not only does this support an active and healthy way of travelling, it also helps the environment and delivers a better quality of life for the local area.”

Tim Beach, Chair of Snape Parish Council, says:

“Parish Councils have been working hard together to identify and propose the network of over 300 miles of Quiet Lanes in Suffolk, which if all approved, will be the first of its size in the country. We hope this launch will encourage more Parish Councils to get involved in the initiative in Suffolk and more counties to look at implementing the initiative nationally”.

Since the initiative began in Suffolk, the Quiet Lanes volunteers have engaged 192 parishes and agreed 323 routes through some of our most treasured countryside. Parish Councils are working together to link up through the lane network in context with public consultation and local neighbourhood plans.

In 2019, Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council declared a Climate Emergency. The council set up a Policy Development Panel to investigate how to cut Suffolk County Council’s carbon and harmful emissions on a spend-to-save basis, with the aim of making Suffolk carbon neutral by 2030. Now in its second phase, work is being done to explore six focus areas, including Transport and Air Quality, to which the Quiet Lanes initiative contributes through improvement to natural environmental quality.