London, 25 August 2003.
For immediate release.

Contact the ABD

Press Release

'Quiet Lanes' Initiative Dangerously Flawed Say ABD
Designating certain lanes as 'quiet lanes' for walkers, cyclists and horse riders sounds wonderful in theory. The Association of British Drivers warns, however, that this may give road users of all classes a false sense of security and may give the implication to drivers that they don't have to look out for vulnerable users on non designated rural roads. Safe use of the roads - of any road - requires a proper sense of care and responsibility from all road users.
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:
“We would be far happier with the 'care and share' initiative applying to ALL roads. Drivers need to be educated to drive at a speed where they can safely stop if they come across vulnerable road users and give them the consideration and space they need. This well meaning but misguided scheme could easily lead to segregated areas for cyclists, walkers and horse riders. These users have a right and often a need to use all roads to get from A to B and should expect to be able to do so in safety. Segregation is not the answer.”
ABD Road Safety Spokesman Mark McArthur-Christie said:
“It's all very well to imagine a quiet stroll in a country lane on a sunny afternoon, but all roads have dangers, and all road users must be continuously aware of them. I'd hate to hear of an accident involving children playing in a quiet lane caused by a stolen car being driven recklessly. Everyone must remember that you cannot make something safe by putting up a few signs and obstructions yet this is all the authorities seem to be able to come up with when faced with road safety issues .”
ABD Sussex representative Dave Razzell, a walking group leader and keen cyclist said:
“Problems on country roads do need addressing but this is not the best way forward. Instead, the government and local authorities should launch education and training initiatives to show drivers how they need to adjust speed for the conditions in rural areas and what the needs of other road users are. A 'Campaign of Courtesy' is also needed for all road users. Thanking other users who do show consideration goes a long way towards ensuring they will repeat the practice in future - most horse riders already have this down to a fine art.”


Notes for Editors