Proposals to establish a network of ‘Quiet Roads’ between Mottistone and Chale have been announced today by two Isle of Wight 2021 election candidates.
Following in the footsteps of Adgestone Quiet Road (15mph), Doug Alldred and Claire Critchison, both of the Green Party, say changing the classification of “strategically selected minor roads” could make them safer for cyclists, walkers, runners and horse riders.
Alldred: Our plan will make it safer and even more pleasant
Doug Alldred, who is standing in Brighstone, Calbourne and Shalfleet, said,
“The network of lanes from Mottistone, through Brighstone, Yafford, Atherfield and as far as Chale Green are an absolute gem with their unspoilt views across the AONB.
“They are brilliant to explore by bike as I did when growing up in Brighstone, and now as a runner trying to stay in shape.
“Many people in Brighstone, Shorwell, Yafford and the other villages and hamlets in the lanes frequently exercise their dogs, take walks, cycle, or ride horses through this network. Our plan will make it safer and even more pleasant, encouraging cars to stay on the main roads and limiting the speed of vehicles which have to use the lanes.”
The idea of the scheme is that by giving vulnerable leisure users a safer set of roads to use, the main roads would be clearer for motorists.
Critchison: Will be a big step in getting people more active
Shorwell, Chale and Niton Green Party candidate Claire Critchison added,
“As a keen horse rider I have used these lanes since I was a child, and the thought of making them more accessible, quieter, and safer for people fits perfectly with our aims.
“They are a beautiful part of our Island and enabling people to use them more confidently for health and wellbeing will be a big step in getting people more active as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.”
The candidates believe a West Wight Quiet Roads Network would be “a tourist magnet”, incorporating a section of the existing Round the Island Cycle Route and connecting with many footpaths.
20km of backlanes
The initial proposed network would cover over 20km of roads (colloquially known as the ‘backlanes’) which fall in the Brighstone, Calbourne and Shalfleet and the Shorwell, Chale and Niton wards, but Doug Alldred says he would like to see the network go further,
“I think this scheme could be the start of a wider programme of carefully encouraging leisure use of roads through suitable quieter routes.
“As long as there’s a viable ‘main road’ alternative route for vehicles then I see this as a win/win for all road users, and a big bonus for our health, our wellbeing, and our tourism economy.”