For many years since the Chesterfield cycle audit in 2009 our Campaign and Derbyshire County Council have been attempting to identify a cycle route from the town centre to the Royal Hospital. Various ideas have been considered alongside Hady Hill but the problem has always been width at the top.
When the government announced the Emergency Active Travel Fund in summer 2020 we submitted various ideas to the County Council. Various online ‘tools’ were made available which showed roads that had available width to build cycle infrastructure too.
The County Council took quick action (as required by the government) and closed Crow Lane to through traffic as well as Corporation Street. Councils could then submit bids for the second round of funding based on what action they had taken in the first round.
We are pleased to say that the County Council resisted opposition from a residents group in Brimington Common, their County Councillor (Stuart Brittain) and Toby Perkins MP (who had initially shown up to a photo call for the press to support the closure). Subsequently Borough Councillor Keith Falconer and prospective County Councillor Jack Woolley have also suggested roads should be reopened to through traffic.
The County Council have now made available their plans for an east – west cycle route which includes keeping Crow Lane closed to through traffic.
The section of Crow Lane from the junction with Piccadilly to the railway station and the whole area in front of the station is subject to the railway station master plan (another page on our website).
The existing station link will be used to get to Park Road where there were initial thoughts of a bridge but now we understand that with refurbishments of the Markham Road traffic signals due in 2021 it might be possible to put in a signalised crossing.
The existing route alongside the Queen’s Park will be used to get to Boythorpe Road then a combination of shared path, short on road section and segregated cycle path will lead to the poor section next to Walton Works. Unfortunately not much can be done here because of an existing planning application to redevelop which includes a better cycle path.
Then there is a problem on Bobbin Mill Lane past Morrisons supermarket. The road isn’t wide enough for a separate cycle lane so we await further ideas.
Walton Road will have a segregated cycle lane built up to the Toucan crossing and then it is planned to tarmac the route past Walton Dam and into Somersall Park.
The route then crosses Oakfield Avenue and up Linden Avenue (both quiet roads) to Chatsworth Road.
At the junction with Storrs Road it is planned to change the traffic signals to include separate cycle signals enabling a safe crossing between Linden, Storrs Road and Chatsworth Road.
There will be a two way segregated cycle route created on the north side of Chatsworth Road but removing the hatched area and relocating the westbound lane. This route will continue all the way to the Holymoorside turn where there will be a Toucan crossing to enable safe access to Holymoorside Road.
In January 2021 there will be a public consultation but in the meantime there is a page on the DCC website.
Inevitably there will be a backlash against these plans from those who resist change for the greater good of providing safer walking and cycling infrastructure to provide a viable alternative to using cars, so if you can support it we urge you to take part in the survey when available.