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Shared lanes help more enjoy the countryside

Thanks to its good relationships with county council planning officers, and its willingness to not let go of an idea it believed in, CPRE Nottinghamshire has succeeded in getting two lanes in the county designated as Quiet Lanes...

Landcroft Lane and Hungary Lane, parallel lanes climbing up a small hill and leading out of the village of Sutton Bonington, each no more than a mile long, were designated in the summer after many years of campaigning effort.

John Gillespie, a transport volunteer with the branch, recalls that the work began with the branch conducting traffic surveys to get an indication of the extent of the problem of speeding on the county's rural roads. It approached the county council with its idea and then worked with the council's officers to assess the viability and support for Quiet Lanes.

After arriving at a list of possible lanes, the council and the branch contacted parish councils to see what support there was for the idea and from that chose two lanes. They created and distributed an explanatory leaflet to all the villagers and consulted with them several times so they could understand the issues and learn of the project's progression.

While the lane designation was a long time in coming, John says that the council was very helpful; it's just that the work wasn't high on its list of priorities and it was very cautious and wanted to be sure there would not be any negative safety implications with this designation, he says.

Local authorities are able to designate country lanes as Quiet Lanes in rural areas, under the Transport Act 2000. Quiet Lanes are designed to encourage car drivers to respect other roads users, such as walkers, cyclists, horse riders and the mobility impaired.