We have now received a response from Stuart Jarvis, Director of Economy, Transport and Environment at HCC. You can view our letter and his response by clicking on the links below.
In summary, HCC are suggesting an alternative to Quiet Lanes - one that is community funded and promotes signage and other measures which would be aimed at preventing 'over-run or to improve driver awareness, but not changes to traffic regulation or designation'.
We are interested in pursuing this alternative option - perhaps a 'Safer Lanes' initiative rather than Quiet Lanes - and it would fit rather well with the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) which the National Park are working on.
Can you help? We are looking for a few people who might be interested in forming a PALLS sub-committee and following up on the suggestion of forming something along the lines of a ‘Safer Lanes’ initiative. This might involve liaising with local authorities as well as investigating fundraising potential. If you are interested in becoming involved in a strategy that could make a truly lasting impact, please get in touch.
What are Quiet Lanes?
Quiet Lanes are an idea which was introduced as part of the Transport Act 2000. This gave local authorities (for us it would be Hampshire County Council) the power to designate roads, for which they are responsible, as Quiet Lanes.
Quiet Lanes are minor rural roads, generally without a footpath, where it seems appropriate to pay special attention to the needs of walkers, cyclists, horse riders and the mobility impaired. The idea is to enable all users to enjoy them in greater safety and encourage car drivers to respect more vulnerable road users.
We feel that the lanes around South Lymington and Pennington are perfect for a Quiet Lanes network. They are frequently used by walkers, runners and cyclists, amongst others and also form a network whereby people can access longer routes around the sea wall or travel in a sustainable way between Lymington and Keyhaven.
Quiet Lanes could include changes such as lower speed limits, excessive street furniture could be reduced, soft verges and ditches which encourage wildlife would be valued and protected and most importantly, the use of the lanes by pedestrians and cyclists would be encouraged.
A Cycle Along Ridgeway Lane
Just in case you were in any doubt about how Ridgeway Lane is used by a wide range of people from across the community, one of our members took this video whilst out on a cycle ride. You can see evidence of use by young and old pedestrians, children on scooters, walkers and, of course, car users. This really emphasises how we need to raise awareness about how the lane is shared by a wide range of users.