Group overwhelmed by support as they aim to 'reclaim the lane'

Birgit Griem with Member of Parliament for Broadland, Jerome Mayhew.

Birgit Griem with Member of Parliament for Broadland, Jerome Mayhew. - Credit: Birgit Griem

A community group has been left overwhelmed by the response to its campaign to have cars banned from a lane that has been left wrecked by tyre tracks.

Reclaim the Lane was launched by the residents of Foulsham and Themelthorpe as they try to apply for reclassification of Fox and Hounds Lane to see all motorised vehicles excluded after watching it deteriorate.

Since it launched, the group has seen support from far and wide, including Jerome Mayhew, MP for Broadland. Birgit Griem, a spokesperson for the group, said they could not believe it.

“I can't stress enough about how much willingness there was from everyone I met there to do something about it," she said.

“We could never think of anything like this, we are overwhelmed. It makes us think we are obviously right to do something about it."

The group have watched a road deteriorate

The group have watched a road deteriorate so they have launched a fundraiser to get it reclassified and ban vehicles from driving down it. - Credit: Birgit Griem

When asked about the lane, Mr Mayhew said, “It is abundantly clear that it continues to be used illegally by off-roaders.

“To my mind, this demonstrates a failure to balance the competing needs of all road users.

“With this in mind, I have written to the council fully supporting the resident’s application to change the status of the lane.”

Fox and Hounds Lane (marked in orange on the map) is classified as an unsurfaced road

Fox and Hounds Lane (marked in orange on the map) is classified as an unsurfaced road. - Credit: Birgit Griem

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Norfolk County Council issued an emergency road closure after its condition deteriorated, which is set to remain in place until the end of the summer.

The group's fundraiser aims to raise £8,500, which they say will cover legal costs associated with the process.

Ms Griem said the fundraiser currently stands at around £5,000.

The lane has become difficult to navigate for people.

The lane has become difficult to navigate for people. - Credit: Steve Snow

There is a plan to ramp up fundraising, with face to face work when the group gets the chance, as it looks forward to taking it to the next step.

“There is a lot of support and I cannot wait for the next step because we have all been getting advice about which reclassification would be appropriate,” she said.

“It is exciting as we are trailblazers, it's a test case for Norfolk and can see if it's worth doing elsewhere.”

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said a bid for reclassification would need to go through a legal process, with further assessment from its legal and design teams.

They said reclassification could be quite challenging to achieve.