Liston Quiet Lane – Consultation Meeting – 5th Dec 2017

Following a request by the Parish Council for Foxearth and Liston, via the Braintree Local Highways Panel, for the designation of Liston Lane as a “Quiet Lane” a public consultation was held in Foxearth Village Hall on 5th December. About 30 local residents attended to hear a presentation by two representatives of the Highways Department.

The Quiet Lane concept was described as a way of protecting the character and tranquility of country lanes by increasing awareness of the needs of walkers, cyclists, horse riders and the mobility-impaired. The idea is to encourage vehicle users to be more in touch with  their environment and the other users they may encounter. It seeks to emphasize the rural aspect by allowing roadside hedges and verges to be less restricted; “letting nature take back a bit more control” was how one of the presenters summarised the concept. The Liston proposal would run from Liston Church to the lane’s junction with New Road and  – if approved  – would be one of four trials in Essex,   It was noted that Norfolk and Suffolk already have a number of operating quiet lanes. There would be an explanatory sign at each end of the designated area and the system would be reviewed after a year.

In the subsequent question and answer session there were one or two comments about whether this was really neccessary but no objections were voiced.. In particular it was felt that it might be a useful deterrent to drivers of very large vehicles who occasionally have taken the unsuitable lane and who have been observed spending up to two hours to extricate themselves. There would be no speed limit and the experiment could start in March 2018. Other comments related to concern about the two  bridges on the lane and the need for the Rodbridge exit to be improved including a suggestion that priority at that bridge should be for vehicles approaching from the Suffolk side rather than as at present.

At the end of the meeting there appeared to be a general acceptance that the proposal was a good idea and worth a try.

Ken Nice

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