Safe Lanes


Plaxtol Safe Lanes Driver Scheme

Welcome to our web page
If you haven’t visited before, this is where you can find out all you need to know about the campaign: its aims, how it works, how it might affect you and – most importantly – how you can help.  You can also get useful tips on driving in the countryside, provided by the National Farmers’ Union and by Brake, the national road safety charity.

Alternatively, if you’ve been here before and just want to know what’s new, you can simply click here to go straight to all the latest news.

We hope you’ll find something to interest you and will want to join our campaign to make Plaxtol’s lanes safer and more pleasant for everyone.

Thank you.

Plaxtol Safe Lanes Working Group.

If you’ve already signed the Pledge, congratulations.

But please remember to display your SAFE LANES DRIVER sticker in the back window of your car, to show everybody that you support the scheme and want safer driving in Plaxtol

About the Campaign
Download our information sheet About the campaign  (478KB PDF)

Driving in the Countryside
Download our information sheet Driving in the Countryside  (333KB PDF)

The Safe Lanes Driver Pledge
By signing the Pledge, you can express your commitment to making Plaxtol’s lanes safer and more pleasant for all road users.  The Pledge is a simple promise: to drive within the speed limit where it applies, and with due care and attention on all other roads, within the parish of Plaxtol.  In return for your promise, you will receive a Safe Lanes Driver sticker to display in the back of your car, telling other drivers of your intention to slow down and give space to vulnerable road users.

If you would like to take the Pledge and do something for our village by taking part in the campaign to improve safety on Plaxtol’s lanes, you can pick up a copy of our leaflet at Plaxtol Village Stores or, if you prefer, you can simply download a printable copy, using the link below.

Download a copy of the Driver pledge  (2,137KB PDF)

The Safe Lanes Driver Pledge should now be returned to:
Mrs Linda Thomas,
Clerk to the Parish Council,
The Forge, The Street,
Kent TN15 0QE

Thank you.

Education Locations
Early in the campaign, we asked Plaxtol residents to tell us those places on Plaxtol’s lanes where drivers speed most often, or where vulnerable road users such as walkers, horse-riders and cyclists feel most at risk from passing cars; the places we called Education Locations.

These locations were marked with signs asking “What If …?” which prompt drivers to take more care.  If you feel that it would be worthwhile to mark these locations again, or if you think different specific location should have a sign, do let us know.  Follow the link for details of how to contact us later on this page.

Latest News

May 2012
We’ve been looking at our web page again as part of the parish website re-launch.  As you can see, there has been very little activity on the Safe Lanes Scheme for quite some time!  The active campaigning for Safe Lanes was always intended to last just one year, with the hope that residents would keep up the good work for the future.  If you would like to see a new Safe Lanes campaign, or if you have ideas for how the scheme could be made even stronger, please do contact us

October 2008
We’d like to use this month’s column for some general snippets of advice, but firstly to address a point which has been raised by some residents.

There has been some suggestion that the “What If ..?” sign depicting a cyclist is inappropriate, because the groups from cycle clubs who pass through Plaxtol at high speeds are just as dangerous as speeding cars. We felt that a cyclist sign was needed, not least because of direct feedback about problems experienced by the school’s Cycling Proficiency group. But there is a wider point here. The road users we have typified as vulnerable – walkers, horse-riders and cyclists (yes, even those cycle clubs) – also present hazards which we need to take into account when driving, so that we can keep ourselves and our passengers safe. Safe Lanes Driving is based strongly on a spirit of give and take; our declared aim of making the lanes safer really does apply to everyone. (And in the meantime, if anyone knows how we can contact those cycle clubs and explain our scheme to them, please let us know!)

On our web page you can download “Driving in the Countryside”, which includes advice from Brake and the NFU. To this we might add a phrase commonly used on advanced driving courses, which is: 3rd for 30. If you find trouble sticking to a 30mph limit, keeping your vehicle in 3rd gear will help control your speed. (If you drive an automatic, keeping it in “2″, e.g. when driving down The Street, will also restrict your speed without need for constant braking.)

Lastly, did you know that we lose the ability to make eye contact with other road users at 20mph or more? Something we should all bear in mind when we meet others – whether on foot, horseback, or bicycle, or in another vehicle.

September 2008
We’ve received lots of positive comments about our “What If … Slow Down” signs around the parish.  They do seem to be standing out and catching your eye as you drive, and should serve to remind everyone of the presence of vulnerable road users.  Although the number of signs is limited – chiefly to avoid “clutter” – we can rotate them through different locations, so if you think there’s a place we’ve missed, it’s not to late to let us know.

You will also have seen artwork from the children atPlaxtolPrimary Schoolin the village notice-boards and shop windows.  The children worked really hard on their posters for our competition, and as the summer term was such a busy one we were particularly lucky to have their participation. We think you’ll agree they have an interesting perspective on the sometimes conflicting wishes of drivers and vulnerable road users, and have found clever ways to express the Safe Lanes aim of making our lanes safer and more pleasant for everyone.

Lastly, now that we are into harvest-time you may find more tractors, trailers and farm machinery on our lanes.  Try to remember that they are rarely on the road for long, and also that they need more room to manoeuvre – for example, a tractor turning right will often swing left first (or vice versa).  Please be patient and “Slow Down, Give Space”.

June 2008: Plaxtol Church Fete & Plaxtol School Summer Fayre
We were able to collect a further 74 signed Pledges at the Church Fete, and another 40 at the School Fayre.  Thank you to everyone who came and visited our stalls at these events.

31st May 2008: Safe Lanes Saturday
We launched the Scheme officially on Saturday, 31st May. Members of the Working Group, ably supported by some brilliant volunteers, were in The Street and Memorial Hall, handing out leaflets and gathering Pledges.

We collected 122 signed Pledges in four hours, and everyone who signed got a sticker to display in their car, so keep your eyes open for Safe Lanes Drivers wherever you go!

Our “What If ..?” signs are also appearing around Plaxtol – the prize for spotting them is safer roads for all.

9th April 2008: Public Meeting
We gave a talk about the Safe Lanes scheme in the Memorial Hall, following the Parish Council’s Annual Parish Meeting, which members of the public are always invited to attend. Those who came along heard all about the scheme, met members of the Working Group and raised questions of concern to them.  Feedback was positive and we hoped that this was a reflection of the attitude of Plaxtol people as a whole.

Press Coverage
Download a copy of the article from the Malling Chronicle 31 Jan 2008  (54KB)
Download a copy of the article from the Malling Chronicle 5 June 2008  (69KB)
Download a copy of the article from the Malling Chronicle 5 September 2008  (53KB)

The Safe Lanes Working Group
The Working Group has now been wound-up, but we would be glad to hear from anyone who’d like to get involved, particularly with publicity and pledge-signing events in the future. The Safe Lanes Driver Scheme is something for the whole community.

Contact Us
You can email us, or write to:

Safe Lanes Working Group
c/o Mrs Linda Thomas
Clerk to the Parish Council
The Forge
The Street
TN15 0QE

We look forward to hearing from you.

Last updated 15 June 2012                            © Plaxtol Safe Lanes Working Group