Local residents are being urged to support a driving restriction order placed on an ancient droving lane at Mellis.
The 18-month temporary order was placed in May this year on Dam Lane and Drury Lane, which runs for 1.6 miles between the Mellis Ash Road (C568) and the A143 near Wortham. Six months on, consultations are now being carried out to consider whether the order should become permanent.
Local environmentalist John Farley said concerns over the condition of the path had been raised following its use by four-wheel off-road vehicles. Its condition had slowly been getting worse over a number of years.
“The vehicles damage the surface of the path and make it difficult for walkers to use it,” he said. Some dumping of household items had also occurred at one end of the path and in its centre where it could only have been transported by four-wheel drive.
Mr Farley decided to encourage local residents to support a permanent measure because “the local voice was silent as not a lot of people knew what was going on.”
He described Dam Lane as “a beautiful green lane” which is “a historical, local asset, much loved by ramblers, dog walkers and horse riders.”
He said he understood that four-wheel drivers liked to try out their vehicles in the countryside, “but there has to be a balance and an understanding that convoys of vehicles tearing about will damage these pathways.”
Local historian Tim Holt-Wilson said: “These lanes are a precious part of our landscape heritage and weren’t ever designed for this kind of usage but for droving of cattle and sheep. They are susceptible to damage and who is going to repair them?”
Those wishing to comment on whether the restriction order should be made permanent should email or write to Heather.Miller@suffolk.gov.uk, Suffolk Legal, Suffolk County Council, Endeavour House, Russell Road, Ipswich, IP1 2BX
DX 87951, to arrive no later than November 2.