All posts by Philip Cousins

Latest on cycle superhighway issues

Chesterfield and District Civic Society remain concerned about various aspects of Derbyshire County Council’s proposed cycle superhighway in Chesterfield. This post includes a download of the text of recent emails sent to and from our chairman, Philip Riden, to Derbyshire County Councillor Simon Spencer (Deputy Leader,  Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport & Infrastructure) over the proposals.

This recent email correspondence highlights various issues the civic society has with the plans. These include what we feel is the lack of a through and proper consultation exercise. One of the emails also suggests a possible alternative strategy to the proposals.

These emails are being made available in the interests of open governance.

For further information contact our Chairman – Philip Riden, telephone 01246 554026 or email him: philip.riden@nottingham.ac.uk

Public consultation issues: proposed cycle superhighway between Chatsworth Road and the Royal Hospital

The Civic Society remains concerned about certain aspects of Derbyshire County Council’s proposals for a cycle superhighway between Chatsworth Road and the Chesterfield Royal Hospital. These concerns include publicity given to the scheme, where there is anecdotal evidence that not all householders affected had been sent a notice by the council.

On 26 March 2021 the chairman of the Civic Society wrote to Derbyshire County Council asking (under the Freedom of Information Act (FoI)) to be supplied with details of the distribution of a notice, which it was understood was to be sent to all householders affected by the scheme to build a cycle ‘superhighway’ between the junction of Chatsworth Road and Holymoor Road in the west and Chesterfield Royal Hospital in the east.

The county council’s response to the FoI request has been received. You can read this by clicking on the down-load button below.

To read a fuller explanation of the Civic Society’s FoI request, together with a copy of the letter said to have been sent by the county council to local residents (listed on the council’s FoI response) click on the download below. This download also gives more details on what local residents can do to help address this issue.

If it can be shown that the county council failed to give all householders an equal opportunity to comment on the proposals, it may be possible to lay a complaint before the Local Government Ombudsman or the Secretary of State alleging that the county council has proceeded improperly in its promotion of this scheme.

Comments can be made via the Civic Society’s website or by phoning the Chairman, Philip Riden at any reasonable time on 01246 554026.

Civic Society seeks answers about old NEDDC offices

Chesterfield and District Civic Society is seeking information about the future of the former North East Derbyshire District Council offices on Saltergate. We have written to the believed owners of the site and currently vacant buildings – Bournemouth based McCarthy & Stone Ltd. – to find out what they now propose to do.

The empty former Rural Council House on Saltergate, pictured in February 2018. Since this time the building and its grounds have continued to deteriorate.

To read our letter (of 24 April 2021) to McCarthy & Stone Ltd., which also explains our current views on the future of the site, click the download button below.

Response to Derbyshire County Council’s proposed extension of the Hipper Valley Trail

The download below is the Chesterfield and District Civic Society’s response to Derbyshire County Council’s plans for an east-west walking and cycling route for Chesterfield – an extension and re-work of the so-called Hipper Valley Trail.

Costed at just over £1.6 million the route will go from the A619 junction with Holymoor Road, along Chatsworth Road and the existing Hipper Valley Trail, through Queen’s Park. It will then go to the hospital by using Crow Lane and Wetlands Lane. The consultation closes on 25 March 2021.

In general, the Civic Society welcomes highway improvements that encourage more people to cycle. It does, however, feel that there are elements of the scheme which could compromise the safety and convenience of other road-users, including pedestrians and drivers of private motor-cars and light and heavy goods vehicles.

It is understood that the scheme costs will be borne entirely by an earmarked grant from the Government. The Society, however, is concerned at the stated cost of the works – averaging some £320,000 per mile – especially as the central portion of the route was created in its present form only a few years ago at a reported cost of £1m

To find out more about the proposals visit the consultation site here.

The Civic Society’s full response can be downloaded below.