People in Suffolk encouraged to use 'Quiet Lanes' as scheme grows

Residents and parish councillors celebrate in Little Cornard

Residents and parish councillors celebrate in Little Cornard - Credit: Paul Nixon Photography

A growing scheme to encourage people in Suffolk to explore more of the countryside on their doorstep now has more than 350 designated 'Quiet Lanes'. 

The county-wide project, which was launched in 2020, aims to encourage considerate use of narrow, rural lanes for walkers, horse riders, cyclists and other road users. 

All 'Quiet Lanes' are marked with green signs at either end, which clearly show the hierarchy of right of way for people using the road.

Julian Cusack on his bicycle, Jackey Leonard with her horse, June, Edwina Galloway and parish councillor Simon Ransome. 

Chairman of Middleton Cum Fordley Parish Council, Julian Cusack on his bicycle, Jackey Leonard with her horse, June, Edwina Galloway and parish councillor from Kelsale Cum Carlton, Simon Ransome, celebrate the new Quiet Lane in Kelsale. - Credit: Paul Nixon Photography

Since its launch, more than 200 parish councils have engaged and there are now more than 350 'Quite Lanes' in the county, covering nearly 250 miles of country road. 

The initiative has been overseen by a volunteer steering group supported by Suffolk County Council’s 2020 Fund, the East Suffolk Community Partnerships and the East Suffolk Greenprint Forum. 

Councillor Alexander Nicoll

Alexander Nicoll said the Covid lockdowns have shown the value of such lanes - Credit: Archant

Alexander Nicoll, Suffolk County Council’s deputy cabinet member for transport strategy, said: “This is a wonderful sustainable initiative aimed at opening up more of our countryside for leisure and recreation activities and active travel. 

“The lockdowns over the past two years have shown the value of these areas that exist on many of our doorsteps, both for our physical and mental health.

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“Now they have been officially designated we hope it will encourage more residents to make use of the countryside around them and explore other ways of travelling other than in the car."

Barry Judge and Margaret May of Great Wratting Parish Council at the launch of their Quiet Lane

Barry Judge and Margaret May of Great Wratting Parish Council at the launch of their Quiet Lane - Credit: Paul Nixon Photography

“Quiet Lanes has been the perfect example of people working together to achieve something significant,” Tim Beach, a Suffolk Quiet Lanes volunteer said. 

“Without the hard work of the volunteers and the willingness of parish councils to work together to link up the lane network and hold public consultation, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve anywhere near the amount of Quiet Lanes that have now been designated across Suffolk, in such a short space of time.”

James Mallinder, Conservative cabinet member for the environment at East Suffolk Council. Picture: E

James Mallinder called Quiet Lanes "a fantastic initiative" - Credit: East Suffolk Council

James Mallinder, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for the environment, and Norman Brooks, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for transport, said: “This is a fantastic initiative which helps to preserve the character of our country lanes, reduce traffic and speed, and encourage drivers to be more mindful of non-motorist road users, making it safer for those who want to enjoy our beautiful rural lanes by foot or bike. 

“Not only does this support an active and healthy way of travelling, but it also helps the environment and provides a better quality of life for the local area.”

People can use the interactive map on the Quiet Lanes Suffolk website to find out where the nearest lanes are to them.