Tag Archives: Chesterfield east to west walking and cycle route

11 November public meeting on the cycling and walking route scheme

Many thanks to everyone who attended the 11 November 2021 public meeting to discuss the Chesterfield east to west cycling and walking route. Below is a statement issued by the civic society on the event.

Also attached, to download, is the opening statement made by our chairman at the meeting. This summarises the civic society’s issues with scheme.

It was standing room only at the meeting held on 11 November 2021.

Chatsworth Road cycle route strongly opposed

Over 350 local residents packed into the hall at Brookfield School on Thursday November 11 to discuss the planned East–West Cycling and Walking Route between Brookside and the Royal Hospital.

The meeting, one of the largest of its kind in Chesterfield for some years, was organised by the Chesterfield and District Civic Society.

Chesterfield’s MP, Toby Perkins, opened the meeting by explaining his view of the county council’s proposals. He called on the council to pause both the eastern and western extensions of the existing Hipper Trail until there had been a fuller consultation with those affected. He pressed for further consideration of an alternative route for the western
extension, using the existing footpath between Somersall Lane and Greendale Avenue in Holymoorside, instead of Chatsworth Road.

Mr Perkins also reported on his recent exchange in Parliament with a Transport Department Minister, and announced that he had arranged to
meet Chris Heaton-Harris, the Minister responsible for cycle policy.
A number of speakers criticised the proposed cycle ‘super highway’, which would run alongside Chatsworth Road between Holymoor Road and Storrs Road. They believed that it would make the road more dangerous for cyclists and lead to worse congestion for motor traffic. Others urged the use of the Greendale Avenue instead.

Speakers in favour of the Chatsworth Road route argued that it would encourage more cycling, especially among young people, and would be safer than the present road layout.

Three of the landowners on the Greendale Avenue route spoke. They stressed that they had always been in favour of the footpath being upgraded to a bridle path which cyclists could use, but were frustrated by the failure, over many years, of the county council to meet their concerns over liability for injury by users.

The Civic Society chairman, Philip Riden, commented that he had recently written to the Department of Transport urging officials to
intervene to resolve this problem.

Strong feelings were expressed about the permanent closure of part of Crow Lane to motor traffic. Some speakers argued that its temporary closure had caused congestion on alternative routes; others felt that the road was now much safer for walkers and cyclists.

The meeting voted by a large majority in support of the Greendale Avenue route in reference to a cycle route on Chatsworth Road, and by a smaller majority in favour of closing Crow Lane. Another show of hands confirmed that no-one living on Chatsworth Road or nearby had received the circular which the county council claim to have delivered last March to 4,041 households on 117 streets affected by the scheme.

Mr Riden stated that the Civic Society had laid a complaint before the Local Government Ombudsman, arguing that the consultation was so badly flawed as to make it unsafe for the county council to proceed
with the scheme.

The meeting concluded with an assurance from Mr Perkins that he would convey the strong opposition expressed to the Chatsworth Road route to both the county council and the Department for Transport.

Our chairman Philip Riden (standing) with Chesterfield’s MP Toby Perkins, at the meeting.

Download the opening statement made our chairman at the meeting below.

More on the Chesterfield Cycle Super-Highway

Earlier in 2021 Derbyshire County Council announced a plan to extend an existing cycle route through Chesterfield at either end. The Civic Society has previously objected to aspects of the proposals. In this post we revisit these proposals as the council has presented a paper to their Cabinet of 14 October recommending that the proposals are accepted.

The controversial aspects of this proposal are centred around the closure to motor traffic of a road forming the proposed eastern extension (Crow Lane) and the building of a new two-lane high-speed cycle ‘super highway’ along a very busy main road (Chatsworth Road, A619) which forms the western extension.

The Derbyshire County Council Cabinet paper is available to download below.

The Civic Society are unhappy with many aspects of the scheme. Our objections and concerns over the proposal are contained in a paper we have sent to the Secretary of State for Transport. Download this paper below, together with the covering letter.

We have written to the Local Government Ombudsman, over the issue Download our letter below.

Our circular to Brookside residents can be downloaded below. This also outlines some of the objections we have.

We are making these papers available in the interests of open governance.