The Quiet Lanes initiative, is being promoted by the Countryside Agency, and is intended to make selected country lanes more attractive for walking, cycling, horse riding, in the interests of a more tranquil and attractive rural environment.
The project, through monitoring work in co-operation with the local authorities involved and the Countryside Agency, will obtain comprehensive information on the quiet lane schemes being piloted in Norfolk and Kent. It will provide information on any modal change that may take place and endeavour to assess the success or otherwise of the schemes for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians. It will make recommendations and provide guidance on the implementation of future quiet lane schemes.
Results will be disseminated through reports, TA Leaflets and presentations.
The objective of this project is to monitor whether the concept of 'Quiet Lanes' is successful, or not, in assisting rural authorities wishing to reduce the impact of through or fast traffic on lanes more suitable for pedestrians and horse-riders etc. This project will also monitor 'before/after'. Extended to also monitor a traffic-calming scheme in Bird Lane, Brentwood.
The Norfolk Quiet lane Pilot Scheme was implemented in April 2000 and the Kent scheme between March 2000 and May 2001. Monitoring was undertaken by TRL, the county councils, the countryside agency and the DfT. Surveys comprised automatic speed/ flow measurements, manual classified counts, video surveys, focus groups and a number of questionnaire surveys to assess attitudes towards the scheme.
- The monitoring of the Norfolk and Kent Quiet Lanes schemes indicates that vehicle flows have decreased slightly compared to control roads and vehicle speeds have remained largely unchanged;
- The numbers of non-motorised users have fluctuated but have not been seen to increase significantly;
- Support for the Quiet Lanes initiative is still high in both areas but a high proportion of respondents thought that it was not working;
- The implementation of a single track road with passing places has reduced flows and speeds in Bird Lane but numbers of non-motorised users have not been seen to increase significantly.
Overall the quiet lanes pilot schemes achieved the aims of the project though not all the expectations of stakeholders involved. The study concluded that greater PR needed to be undertaken with locals recounting the success of the schemes.
Numerous new quiet lane schemes are underway and to achieve success, attention needs to be paid to the suitability (particularly busy or higher speed limit roads) to being turned into quiet lanes unless traffic calming is also included in the schemes. Larger signage whilst appearing intrusive is essential to ensure visibility to drivers, especially non-locals. Canvassing the support of the local population and business community is essential, especially to ensure local businesses assist in traffic calming.
Infrastructure provision (incl.TENs)
The objective of this project is to monitor whether the concept of 'Quiet Lanes' is successful, or not, in assisting rural authorities wishing to reduce the impact of through or fast traffic on lanes more suitable for pedestrians and horse-riders etc. The project contributes to knowledge in Infrastructure provision theme including the sub themes of infrastructure construction and maintenance, including identifying cost effective new technological and management solutions.